Hepatitis A | Symptoms


What are the symptoms of hepatitis A?

The hepatitis A virus is usually in your system for 2-6 weeks before symptoms appear. Some people never have any symptoms. If symptoms do appear, they can appear suddenly and may include the following:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Jaundice (the yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes)
  • Low-grade fever (fever up to 102°F)
  • Fatigue
  • Pain in your abdomen, especially on your right side
  • Dark-colored urine
  • Loss of appetite
  • Muscle pain
  • Itching

Young children are likely to have very mild cases of hepatitis A, while symptoms in older children and adults are more likely to be severe.

How long will I be contagious?

You are most contagious soon after you are infected and before symptoms appear. Adults who are otherwise healthy are no longer contagious 2 weeks after the illness begins. Children and people who have weak immune systems may be contagious for up to 6 months.


Hepatitis A by SC Brundage M.D., M.P.H. and AN Fitzpatrick, M.P.H. (American Family Physician June 15, 2006, http://www.aafp.org/afp/20060615/2162.html)

Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff

Reviewed/Updated: 03/14
Created: 06/06