Hepatitis A Causes & Risks

Causes

This virus is usually found in the stool (feces) of people who have the infection. It is spread by:

  • Putting something in your mouth that has been infected with the hepatitis A virus
  • Drinking water contaminated by raw sewage
  • Eating food contaminated by the hepatitis A virus, especially if it has not been properly cooked
  • Eating raw or partially cooked shellfish contaminated by raw sewage
  • Sexual contact with a partner infected with the hepatitis A virus, particularly anal sex

Risk Factors

Risk factors for hepatitis A include:

  • Having close contact with an infected person although the virus is generally not spread by casual contact
  • Using household items that were used by an infected person, but were not properly cleaned
  • Having sex with multiple partners
  • Having sex with a partner who has hepatitis A
  • Traveling to or spending long periods of time in a country where hepatitis A is common or where sanitation is poor
  • Injecting drugs—especially if you share needles
  • Working as a childcare worker, changing diapers or toilet training children
  • Being in daycare centers
  • Being institutionalized
  • Receiving plasma products (such as people with hemophilia)

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright © 2015 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.

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Hepatitis A Guide

Christine Jeffries

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