How is it spread?
Hepatitis A is spread person-to-person from fecal contamination and oral ingestion, by either person-to-person contact or ingestion of contaminated food or water. The virus is passed through the intestines of the infected person and infects someone else if it enters through their mouth. If someone who is infected with the virus does not wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water after having a bowel movement, the virus can be carried on the infected person's hands and potentially spread to others through food, other objects they touch, and through unsafe sex practices.

Spread occurs easily in households and in day care centers, especially among children who wear diapers. The virus is not airborne, so you will not get hepatitis A by being in the same room with someone who has it; however, it may survive on contaminated objects in the environment (for up to one month).

Show All Answers

1. What is hepatitis A and who gets it?
2. What is the incubation period?
3. What are the symptoms?
4. How is it spread?
5. How is it treated?
6. How can you avoid getting hepatitis A?
7. Who is at risk of getting hepatitis A?
8. What if you are exposed to hepatitis A?