Hepatitis A is a highly contagious liver infection caused by the hepatitis A virus. It can range from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a severe illness lasting several months. Although rare, hepatitis A can cause death in some people. Hepatitis A usually spreads when a person unknowingly ingests the virus from objects, food, or drinks contaminated by small, undetected amounts of stool from an infected person.
Public Notice: Hepatitis A Outbreak In Local Restaurant - 2.7.2020
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Health Alert: Outbreak of Hepatitis A Associated with Long Beach Restaurant - 2.7.2020
HEPATITIS A FAQs
WHAT IS HEPATITIS A?
Hepatitis A is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis A virus. It can last a few weeks to several months, but it goes away on its own in almost all cases. Hepatitis A does not lead to long-term liver problems.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF HEPATITIS A?
Hepatitis A does not always cause symptoms. If symptoms occur, they can develop 15-50 days after being infected. The most common symptoms of hepatitis A are:
- Stomach pain
- Dark color urine
- Fever (up to 102 degrees)
- Jaundice (Yellowing of the skin)
- Loss of appetite
- Muscle pain
HOW IS HEPATITIS A SPREAD?
Hepatitis A is typically spread through the fecal-oral route. This is when an uninfected person ingests food or water that has been contaminated with even a small amount of feces. This can occur when:
- Consuming food or water contaminated with hepatitis A
- Touching objects contaminated with hepatitis A
- Having close contact with someone infected with hepatitis A
HOW IS HEPATITIS A TREATED?
Hepatitis A goes away on its own in most cases. You can help yourself get better faster by drinking lots of water, eating a healthy mix of foods, and avoiding alcohol. While you have hepatitis A, cut back on daily activities until all your energy returns. Those who have had hepatitis A before can never get sick from it again.
HOW CAN I PROTECT MYSELF FROM HEPATITIS A?
- Hepatitis A shots (vaccinations) 6 months apart
- Wash hands with soap and clean water often, especially at these times:
- Before eating or preparing food
- After using the bathroom or changing diapers
- Avoid sexual practices that might result in oral exposure to stool (e.g.: oral-anal contact).
- Use your own towels, toothbrushes, and eating utensils
- Don’t share food, drinks, or smoking devices with other people
WHO SHOULD GET VACCINATED FOR HEPATITIS A?
- All children at 1 year of age
- Travelers to countries where hepatitis A is common
- Family and caregivers of adoptees from countries where hepatitis A is common
- Men who have sex with men
- Recreational drug users
- People with chronic liver disease or hepatitis B or C
- People with clotting-factor disorders
- People who have potential exposure to hepatitis A in an outbreak situation
WHERE CAN I LEARN MORE ABOUT HEPATITIS A?
California Department of Public Health:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
Hepatitis A FAQ (Spanish)
Hepatitis A Cleaning Protocol
Know the Symptoms (English & Spanish)
Stop the Spread (English & Spanish)
Get Vaccinated (English & Spanish)
Handwashing (English & Spanish)
Hepatitis A 2017 Outbreak
LA County Health Alert: Increase in Hep A among Men Who Have Sex with Men (MSM) (November 2, 2017)
CA Dept. of Public Health Taking Action to Increase Hepatitis A Vaccine Supplies (FAQ) (October 13, 2017)
Hepatitis A Vaccination Recommendations and Updated Guidance for Providers (September 13, 2017)
California Department of Public Health All Health Facilities Letter (August 15, 2017)
California Department of Public Health Clinical Advisory (July 13, 2017)
Hepatitis A Infographic (English & Spanish)
Food Handler Letter
For additional information, please contact (562) 570-7907.
Last Updated: 2/10/2020