Hepatitis A Symptoms

Not everyone who has the disease will develop symptoms of hepatitis A. The likelihood of symptoms seems to be related to age -- children, for example, are less likely to have symptoms than people over 50 years of age. If they do occur, hepatitis A symptoms usually appear abruptly and go away within two months. Common symptoms include jaundice, fatigue, stomach pain, and nausea.

An Overview of Hepatitis A Signs and Symptoms

When a person becomes infected with the hepatitis A virus, it begins to multiply within the liver. Fifteen to 45 days later, a person may develop hepatitis A symptoms. This period between transmission of the virus and the start of symptoms is called the "hepatitis A incubation period."
Not everyone who is infected with the virus will develop symptoms, however. Some people may also have symptoms that are so mild as to go unnoticed.
Children are more likely to have mild symptoms. People over the age of 50 are more likely to have severe symptoms.

Specific Symptoms of Hepatitis A

If symptoms of hepatitis A do occur, they usually appear abruptly. These symptoms (especially early ones) may be similar to the stomach flu and include:
  • Fatigue
  • Excessive tiredness
  • Lack of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Low-grade fever
  • Muscle pain
  • Joint pain
  • Sore throat
  • Dark urine
  • Abdominal pain (stomach) on the right side.
Jaundice (yellowing of the skin or the whites of the eyes) usually occurs anywhere from several days to two weeks after these early hepatitis A symptoms. When jaundice appears, the early symptoms tend to improve, although weight loss may continue.

What Is Hepatitis A?

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