Hepatitis_A_factsheet.doc - Hepatitis A Fact Sheet What is...

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Hepatitis A Fact Sheet What is Hepatitis A? Hepatitis A, also known as infectious hepatitis, is a viral disease of the liver. What are the symptoms? Symptoms are age dependent. Adults are more likely to have symptoms of fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, diarrhea and jaundice. Someone experiencing jaundice usually has dark brown urine, pale stools, and the whites of the eyes turn yellow. Young children may have mild flu-like symptoms or no symptoms and seldom get jaundice. Symptoms normally last 1-2 weeks but may last longer. How is Hepatitis A spread? The virus is found in the stools (feces) of infected people. It is spread when people don’t wash their hands after using the toilet, changing a diaper or soiled sheets and then touch their mouths, prepare food for others, or touch others with contaminated hands. It may also be spread by contaminated food or water. A person is most contagious 2 weeks before symptoms until 1 week after. Who gets Hepatitis A? Anyone can. People who live with or have sex with people who have the disease are at risk of becoming infected. Hepatitis A can spread among young children in daycare because many are in diapers or may not wash their hands well.
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