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MLT_GIB/OTH/0007/17m
Date of preparation: March 2018

What are the symptoms of hepatitis A?  

Not everyone who is infected with hepatitis A will display all symptoms of the disease. Adults have signs and symptoms of illness more often than children and the severity of disease and mortality increases in older age groups. 1

Symptoms of hepatitis A can include: 1

  • Fever
  • Malaise
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhoea
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Dark-coloured urine and jaundice (a yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes)

Infected children under 6 years of age do not usually experience noticeable symptoms, and only 10% develop jaundice. Among older children and adults, infection usually causes more severe symptoms, with jaundice occurring in more than 70% of cases. 1

Ultimately, hepatitis A resolves completely in >99% of the cases, although relapse of symptoms has been reported in 3–20% of clinical cases. 2

Reference:

  1. WHO. Hepatitis A Fact Sheet 328. 2014. Available at: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs328/en/. Last accessed June 2015.
  2. WHO position paper on hepatitis A vaccines. Weekly epidemiological record. June 2012. Available at: http://www.who.int/wer/2012/wer8728_29.pdf?ua=1. Last accessed June 2015.

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