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Hepatitis A is a short term liver disease caused by the hepatitis A virus. Worldwide, an estimated 1.4 million cases of hepatitis A occur each year.  Hepatitis A infection does not cause chronic liver disease and is rarely fatal, but the symptoms can be debilitating.

Hepatitis A can sometimes lead to fulminant hepatitis (acute liver failure), which can lead to death.

In Australia, there were 144 diagnosed cases of hepatitis A in 2011.

Hepatitis A symptoms

Hepatitis A symptoms include:

  • fever
  • weakness
  • fatigue
  • loss of appetite
  • nausea
  • joint aches and pains
  • vomiting
  • jaundice (yellowish eyes and skin, dark urine and pale-coloured faeces)

Not everyone will have all the symptoms. Most infected children under six do not have any symptoms.

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