Hepatitis A is a virus that can cause inflammation of the liver. Symptoms of hepatitis A infection may include jaundice (yellow eyes or skin), abdominal pain, dark urine, pale (light-colored) stool, extreme tiredness, loss of appetite, fever, nausea or vomiting. Illness usually occurs between 15 to 50 days after exposure to the virus.
Hepatitis A is very contagious, meaning it can spread easily from person-to-person. It is usually spread by the fecal-oral route, when an infected person doesn’t was his/her hands well, and then contaminates food, drinks or objects that others put in their mouth. Outbreaks can occur from contaminated food, but also more recently have been reported throughout the United States among persons who use injection and non-injection drugs, and/or who are homeless. People are infectious from two weeks before to one week after onset of jaundice or elevation of liver enzymes.
A safe effective vaccine is available to prevent hepatitis A infection and is part of the routine recommended vaccination schedule for all children (at age 1 year) and for certain adults with increased risk for hepatitis A or severe disease. See below for more information.
Hepatitis A vaccine can also decrease the risk of infection in people exposed to hepatitis A if given within two weeks of exposure. HCA Epidemiology will assist in recommendations for post-exposure prophylaxis of contacts of cases.
Hepatitis A is reportable in Orange County within one (1) working day of identification. To report a case, health care providers/facilities should call OCHCA Communicable Disease Control Division at 714-834-8180 or fax records to 714-560-4050.
- CAHAN San Diego - Increased Hepatitis A Cases Associated with Homelessness, Drug Use in San Diego County (5/16/2023)
- CD Health Alert - Increase in Hepatitis A Cases With No History of Travel (3/7/2019)
- CDC Hepatitis A Outbreaks
- Hepatitis A Case with History of Illicit Drug Use in Orange County (12/3/2018)
- Infants aged 6-11 months traveling outside the United States to areas with high or intermediate risk of hepatitis A should be vaccinated against hepatitis A
- Hepatitis A Cases with No History of Travel in Orange County (9/21/2018)
- Dose of Immune Globulin Increased for Pre- and Post- Exposure Prophylaxis of Hepatitis A
- Fact Sheet, Hepatitis A (English) - (Spanish)
- Hepatitis A Infographic (English) - (Spanish)
- Homeless Facility Flyer (English) - (Spanish)
- Hepatitis A Vaccine – CDC Vaccine Information Statement (VIS)
- San Diego County Hepatitis A Guidelines and Resources
Last Updated: 5/16/2023