Hepatitis A is an acute infectious disease of the liver caused by the hepatitis A virus, a small, non-enveloped hepatotropic virus classified in the genus Hepatovirus within the family Picornaviridae.
The disease is highly transmissible through faecal-oral route. Hepatitis A is often asymptomatic or mild, particularly in children below five years of age, but the severity increases with age. Up to 90% of hepatitis A infections in children present no symptoms. In adults, the onset of illness is usually abrupt with fever, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting. Jaundice is the predominant symptom. Symptoms may last between 1 to 2 weeks, or up to months. About 15% of patients have prolonged or relapsing symptoms over a 6–9-month period. Read more