Hepatitis A Symptoms

Reviewed by Ruthann Cunningham, MD, June 6, 2017

How would I know if I have hepatitis A?

Seventy percent of infected people will have symptoms. The average time from contracting hepatitis A until the onset of symptoms is 28 days.

Anyone with risk factors for hepatitis A should take extra precautions of protecting against the virus. This includes anyone who has never been vaccinated, anyone engaging in anal-to-mouth sex, or anyone who has been diagnosed with hepatitis before.

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Most common hepatitis A symptoms

These include, but are not limited to:

  • Fatigue
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Low-grade fever

Less common hepatitis A symptoms

Hepatitis A itself is rare, but can become serious, so a diagnosis is important. Less common symptoms of hepatitis A include:

  • Dark urine
  • Clay-colored bowel movements
  • Joint pain (arthralgias)
  • Yellowing of the skin (jaundice)

These symptoms may indicate severe liver problems. If you feel symptoms like the above, do not wait to get tested. Visit an emergency room or your doctor immediately.

How long do the symptoms of hepatitis A last?

Each case is different, but most people are better in 2-3 months. It rarely becomes a chronic problem.

What can I do for symptom relief?

As with any liver infection, it is important to stay away from alcohol. If you are feeling nauseated, extremely fatigued or in pain, it’s important to see your doctor to know what medicines are safe to take. Usually rest and fluids are all that are needed.


NIDDK - Hepatitis A
CDC - Viral Hepatitis - Hepatitis A Information
Mayo Clinic - Hepatitis A
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