Hepatitis is swelling or inflammation of the liver which can be caused by a variety of factors. Hepatitis A is a specific type of hepatitis which is caused by the Hepatitis A virus (HAV). Hepatitis A is a contagious disease which means it can spread from one person to another. A mild case of HAV may last only a few weeks while a more serious case can last several months.
The most common way to catch the Hepatitis A virus is by taking fecal matter (stool or poop) into your mouth. It only takes a tiny amount of contamination to transfer the virus. There are two general ways the virus can be transferred.