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Hepatitis A (vaccine-preventable)


Hepatitis A (formerly known as infectious hepatitis) is a liver disease caused by a hepatitis A virus. Hepatitis A is usually spread from person to person whey they put something in their mouth that has come in contact with the bowel movement of a person with hepatitis A. This type of spread is called "fecal-oral."  
Symptoms include jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes), tiredness, stomach pain, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea (frequent watery bowel movements), dark urine and light colored bowel movements. Children with hepatitis A may not show any signs of being sick, but it can still be passed to others. Adults usually have worse symptoms than children and have jaundice more often.
Childhood immunization is recommended.

Disease Reporting

What is required?

Health care providers and clinical laboratories are required by law to report cases and suspect cases of hepatitis A to local health departments within one working day of identification.
Cases are subject to restriction on school and day-care attendance, food handling, and patient care while in the communicable stage of the disease, or for the duration of any diarrhea and/or vomiting. If sufficient measures have been taken to prevent transmission, or the disease is no longer communicable, worksite, child-care and school restrictions can be removed by the local public health authority; school restrictions can be removed by a school nurse or health care provider; and health-care facility restrictions can be removed by the facility's infection control committee.

Disease reporting form (pdf) for health-care practitioners

Go to our disease reporting page for information on how to report and for telephone numbers of local health departments.

For county health departments:

Hepatitis A: Investigative guidelines (pdf)
Hepatitis A: Case report form (pdf) 

Post-exposure prophylaxis of contacts to hepatitis A cases (pdf)


Hepatitis A statistics (pdf) from the 2015 Oregon Communicable Disease Summary

See Also