Hepatitis A Symptoms: Top 10 Signs (with Online Symptom Checker)

The main symptoms of hepatitis A are headache, general malaise, yellow skin and eyes, dark urine, a swollen belly, nausea, pain in the right upper abdomen and persistent low fever. These can take up to 40 days to appear.

In most cases, hepatitis A does not lead to the appearance of signs or symptoms, and the infection is only identified after carrying out blood tests that help assess the functioning of the liver.

It is important to consult a hepatologist or gastroenterologist if hepatitis A is suspected, so that a diagnosis can be confirmed and treatment can be initiated.

Main symptoms

The main symptoms of hepatitis A are:

  • Yellow skin and eyes
  • Lighter or yellow stools
  • Dark urine
  • Constant low fever
  • Pain in the right upper abdomen
  • Loss of appetite
  • Tired easily and for no apparent reason
  • Swollen belly
  • Frequent nausea and dizziness
  • Joint pain

Symptoms of hepatitis A may appear 15 to 40 days the initial infection with the virus, and may be more intense as the liver becomes more inflamed. Normally, these symptoms resolve within 6 months, but during this period it is also possible for the disease to manifest itself in cycles, which means symptoms may subside and reappear until it has resolved completely.

Since the symptoms of the different types of hepatitis are very similar, it is important to consult a hepatologist to carry out the necessary tests to confirm the type, which will help to guide treatment.

Online symptom checker

If you are unsure whether or not you may have hepatitis A, report your symptoms in the quiz below to determine your risk:

This online symptom checker is only a guidance tool and does not serve as a diagnosis, nor does it replace a consultation with a hepatologist, gastroenterologist or general practitioner.

Severe symptoms

In most people, hepatitis A does not cause serious damage to the liver and resolves after a few months. However, in rare cases, liver inflammation can worsen until it causes liver failure. This can lead to symptoms such as:

  • Sudden and intense vomiting
  • Easy bruising or bleeding
  • Increased irritability
  • Memory and concentration problems
  • Dizziness or confusion

If you notice these symptoms, you are advised to proceed to the hospital immediately to assess liver function and begin treatment. 

How it is transmitted

The transmission of the hepatitis A virus typically via the fecal-oral route. That means, it is usually transmitted through the consumption of food or water contaminated by the virus. To prevent transmission, it is important to always wash your hands, drink safe water and to maintain optimal hygiene and sanitation conditions. Another way to prevent infection with hepatitis A is through vaccination.

It is important for people with hepatitis A to avoid coming into close contact with others for up to 1 week after the onset of symptoms because of how easily the virus transmits. To reduce the risk of transmission, it is important to follow the treatment as prescribed by your doctor and to ensure an adequate diet.