Hepatitis A is an infectious disease of the liver. It is typically transmitted from person to person through ingestion of contaminated food or water, or through direct contact with the infected individual. In rare cases, acute hepatitis A can result in acute liver failure.
Symptoms of hepatitis A typically do not occur for two to six weeks after contact. This is known as the incubation period. Symptoms include fever, nausea, vomiting, yellowing of the skin or eyes, dark urine or light colored stools.
Specific blood tests can be performed to demonstrate an antibody or immune response to hepatitis A virus.
There is no specific treatment for hepatitis A. Rest and symptomatic therapy is encouraged. Recovery will occur slowly over several weeks. The disease can be prevented through appropriate vaccination.
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