What is hepatitis A?
Also called: HAV, HepA,
Hepatitis A is a type of viral hepatitis. It is very rare in the UK. It is usually spread through contaminated water or food. But can sometimes be picked up by close contact with someone who has the condition. The virus can be passed on for about a week after you start to get symptoms.
Hepatitis means inflammation of the liver. This can be caused by lots of things. The name hepatitis A can be used for the virus and for the condition that it causes.
Most people will make a full recovery from hepatitis A without any specific medical treatment. But the condition can sometimes be more serious.
People who already have a long term (chronic) liver disease have a greater risk of becoming very unwell if they pick up the hepatitis A virus. In the most severe cases, your liver can stop working. Doctors call this “acute-on-chronic liver failure”. The chances of this happening are rare.