What is Hepatitis A?
This is an inflammation of the liver caused by a viral infection. It is mainly spread through contaminated food and water, poor hand washing or sex.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms for hepatitis A are rarely life-threatening. They can be so mild that people may not realise they have it. But weeks after infection it can cause: mild flu-like symptoms, nausea, diarrhoea, extreme tiredness, itchy skin stomach pain, jaundice (meaning your skin and the whites of your eyes turn yellow), your urine is dark and your faeces (poo) are pale.
How is it diagnosed?
It is diagnosed with a blood test. The test can tell whether you have recent infection or that you have past exposure ( either from vaccination or infection).
What is the treatment?
There is no specific treatment. Most people clear the infection but that can take several months. This will lead to lifelong immunity to Hepatitis A.
Sometimes people may need admission to hospital for monitoring of their liver function tests but this is unusual.
It can be prevented with a vaccination which can be given at sexual health clinics (or in Primary Care) to people who are at higher risk of infection or complications.
To find out more visit the NHS website.