Hepatitis A is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis A virus (HAV). Hepatitis A can affect anyone. Symptomatic Hepatitis A Virus (HAV) infection is characterized by the abrupt onset of fever, malaise, anorexia, nausea, abdominal pain, dark urine, and jaundice.
Symptoms of HAV infection last approximately 2 months, but the disease may be either prolonged or relapsing for up to 6 months. Hepatitis A is most infectious 2 weeks prior to jaundice, when the liver function test results are highest and there is the greatest concentration of virus in the stool. The incubation period is approximately 28 days, with a range of 15–50 days. Viremia occurs soon after transmission, evidenced by elevated liver function tests. An individual’s infectivity usually wanes one week after the appearance of jaundice. HAV infection confers lifelong immunity and does not lead to chronic infection.