• hepatitis A is not common in Australia.
  • hepatitis A is spread through infected food, drink, bodily fluids (e.g. saliva), or faeces (poo).
  • hepatitis A can have serious (but short-lived) symptoms and people generally make a full recovery.

Like hepatitis B and C, hepatitis A is a virus that affects the liver. However it can be transmitted more easily where general hygiene is poor.

It is unlikely that you will get hepatitis A in Australia. Small outbreaks of hepatitis A are occasionally seen in Australia but it is not common. However the risk is higher for people living in remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. There is a much higher risk of getting hepatitis A if you are visiting a developing country with less access to clean water or sanitation. 

There is a vaccine to protect against hepatitis A, which you can read about on the Department of Health website.

If you get hepatitis A, you may get the following symptoms:

  • fever
  • nausea
  • pain in your belly
  • dark urine
  • yellow skin and eyes (also known as jaundice).

Not everyone who gets hepatitis A will experience any symptoms, especially children under five years old. Symptoms can last for several weeks, but most people fully recover.

If you think you could have hepatitis A, you should talk to your doctor.

Hepatitis A is very contagious, so if you have it, you should stay away from childcare, school, work or other places where you could spread the infection. Your doctor will tell you when you are no longer infectious.

What is Hepatitis B

What is Hepatitis C

References

Department of Health. (2018, November 6). Hepatitis A. Retrieved from Australian Goverenment Department of Health: beta.health.gov.au/health-topics/hepatitis-a

Department of Health. (2018, August 1). Hepatitis A immunisation service. Retrieved from Australian Government Department of Health: beta.health.gov.au/health-topics/immunisation/immunisation-services/hepatitis-a-immunisation-service

Page updated 9 July 2019