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What is hepatitis A?

Page last updated 21 June 2018

Hepatitis A is a virus which infects and causes inflammation the liver. It causes an acute infection from which almost everyone will fully recover. 

Hepatitis A is spread through food or drink contaminated with faeces (poo) and may also be spread by close personal contact such as anal sex. Symptoms are associated with decreased liver function and include fever, nausea, abdominal pain, and jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes).

Hepatitis A is not common in Australia, although outbreaks have been known to occur in some communities. Hepatitis A is common (endemic) to many overseas countries. 


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Sources & Citations

  1. The Australian Immunisation Handbook 10th Edition, 4.10 Hepatitis A. Available at (accessed 4 April 2018).
  2. Centers for Disease Control, Hepatitis A Questions and Answers for the Public. Available at (accessed 4 April 2018).
  3. Victorian Government, Better Health Channel, Hepatitis A. Available at (accessed 4 April 2018).
  4. NSW Government, Department of Health, Hepatitis A Fact Sheet. Available at (accessed 4 April 2018).

SPANZ.SAPAS.18.04.0142a - Date of preparation May 2018