Hepatitis A is a highly contagious, short-term liver infection caused by the hepatitis A virus. Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver that can be contracted through unprotected sex, using contaminated needles, or other causes.
People who get hepatitis A may feel sick for a few weeks to several months but usually recover completely and do not have lasting liver damage. In rare cases, hepatitis A can cause liver failure and even death; this is more common in older people and in people with other serious health issues, such as chronic liver disease.
Hepatitis A is preventable by vaccine. It spreads from contaminated food or water, or contact with someone who is infected.
Symptoms include fatigue, nausea, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, and low-grade fever.