Viral hepatitis; Infectious hepatitis
There is no specific treatment for hepatitis A. Rest is recommended when the symptoms are most severe. People with acute hepatitis should avoid alcohol and any substances that are toxic to the liver, including acetaminophen (Tylenol).
Fatty foods may cause vomiting, because substances from the liver are needed to digest fats. Fatty foods are best avoided during the acute phase.
The virus does not remain in the body after the infection has gone away.
Over 85% of people with hepatitis A recover within 3 months. Nearly all patients get better within 6 months.
There is a low risk of death, usually among the elderly and persons with chronic liver disease.
There are usually no complications. One in a thousand cases becomes fulminant hepatitis, which can be life threatening.
Call for an appointment with your health care provider if you have symptoms of hepatitis.
Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices (ACIP) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices (ACIP) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Update: Prevention of hepatitis A after exposure to hepatitis A virus and in international travelers. Updated recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2007;56:1080-1084.
Hoofnagle JH. Acute viral hepatitis. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier;2007:chap 151.
Sjogren MH, Cheatham JG. Hepatitis A. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2010:chap 77.
Victor JC, Monto AS, Surdina TY, Suleimenova SZ, Vaughan G, Nainan OV, Favorov MO, Margolis HS, Bell BP. Hepatitis A vaccine versus immune globulin for postexposure prophylaxis. N Engl J Med. 2007;357:1685-1694.
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