Hep A Symptoms
On average, signs and symptoms of hep A appear about 28 days after infection with the virus. However, it can take up to 50 days for symptoms to appear. Some people never develop symptoms, including the majority of children under age 6 who have the disease. If symptoms do occur, they can range from jaundice to fatigue to other symptoms, such as diarrhea and nausea.
Once someone is infected with the hepatitis A (hep A) virus, the average time it takes for symptoms to appear is 28 days; however, the range can be from 15 to 45 days.
Many people infected with the virus will not have any symptoms. If they do have symptoms of hep A, they may start abruptly and include the following:
- Yellowing of the skin or eyes (also known as jaundice)
- Feeling very tired
- Stomach pain (abdominal pain)
- Not feeling very hungry
- Dark urine
- Muscle pain
- Joint pain
- Low-grade fever.
Sometimes, these symptoms may be confused with stomach flu symptoms.
The likelihood of experiencing hep A symptoms is related to the infected person's age. For example, in children under 6 years old, most (70 percent) have no symptoms. If symptoms do occur in these children, they usually do not last more than two months. Older adults are more likely to have symptoms of hep A and to have them be more severe.
Long-Term Hep A SymptomsChronic or long-term problems are rare with hepatitis A, but 10 percent of infected people will have prolonged symptoms over a six- to nine-month period. These symptoms may come and go during this time.
The overall rate of death from a hepatitis A infection is 0.3 percent; however, the rate is 1.8 percent for adults 50 years of age or older.