Hepatitis A is a highly contagious liver infection caused by
the hepatitis A virus (HAV). Although not usually as serious
as other types of viral hepatitis, hepatitis A causes
inflammation that affects your liver's ability to function.
You're most likely to contract hepatitis A from contaminated
food or water or from close contact with someone who's already
infected — even if that person doesn't appear sick. Some
people who are infected never develop signs and symptoms, but
others may feel as if they have a severe flu.
Mild cases of hepatitis A don't require treatment, and most
people who are infected recover completely with no permanent
liver damage. Unlike hepatitis B and C, hepatitis A doesn't
develop into chronic hepatitis or cirrhosis — both potentially
Practicing good hygiene - including washing your hands often -
is one of the best ways to protect against hepatitis A.
Effective vaccines are available for people who are most at