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Viral Hepatitis

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How will I know if I have hepatitis A?

for Veterans and the Public

How will I know if I have hepatitis A?

Your doctor can tell you if you have hepatitis A by taking a sample of your blood. A blood test for a specific antibody called an IgM antibody can tell if you are infected with hepatitis A. Your doctor will also talk to you about your symptoms, which may include the following:

  • Yellowing of the skin or eyes (called jaundice)
  • Feeling very tired
  • Stomach pain
  • Not feeling very hungry
  • Dark urine
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Low-grade fever

Though some people do not have any symptoms, hepatitis A usually makes people feel sick:

  • Adults with hepatitis A are often too ill to work for up to a month.
  • People with hepatitis A sometimes have to be hospitalized (up to 1 person in 5).
  • In rare cases, people die as a result of hepatitis A (about 3 to 6 deaths per 1,000 cases).