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Hepatitis A

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People become infected with hepatitis A when they orally ingest the fecal matter—even just microscopic traces—of infected individuals. This usually happens in one of two ways:

  • Close contact with an infected person who has not washed his or her hands after using the bathroom
  • Consuming food or water contaminated with the virus, usually caused by food handlers who are infected and do not thoroughly wash their hands or who wash food with contaminated water

Hepatitis A is common in certain areas of the world where there is poor sanitation. Several outbreaks in the United States and elsewhere have also been associated with injecting and non-injecting drug use.

Last Updated October 01, 2009