Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is a highly contagious liver infection caused by the hepatitis A virus (HAV). It can range from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a severe illness lasting several months. Although rare, hepatitis A can cause death in some people. Hepatitis A usually spreads when a person unknowingly ingests the virus from objects, food, or drinks contaminated by small, undetected amounts of stool from an infected person. Hepatitis A can also spread from close personal contact with an infected person such as through sex or caring for someone who is ill.

The best way to prevent hepatitis A is through vaccination with the hepatitis A vaccine.

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends hepatitis A vaccination for the following people:

  • All children at age 1 year
  • Travelers to countries where hepatitis A is common
  • Family and caregivers of adoptees from countries where hepatitis A is common
  • Men who have sexual encounters with other men
  • Users of recreational drugs, whether injected or not
  • People with chronic or long-term liver disease, including hepatitis B or hepatitis C
  • People with clotting-factor disorders
  • People with direct contact with others who have hepatitis A
  • Any person wishing to obtain immunity (protection)

Acute hepatitis A is a reportable condition in Georgia and should be reported immediately to your local District Public Health Office or by calling 1-866-PUB-HLTH (1-866-782-4584).

For more information:

Educational Tools and Resources:

  • What to Know About Hepatitis A - Flyer (July 2018)
    The Georgia Department of Public Health's flyer provides general information about hepatitis A transmission, symptoms and disease prevention. The flyer is available in English and Spanish. (Adapted from the Tennessee Department of Public Health)
    - Download this pdf file. English flyer
    - Download this pdf file. Spanish flyer
  • Hepatitis A Visual Fact Sheet
    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's visual fact sheet encourages vaccination for people who use drugs. (Courtesy of CDC)
  • Hepatitis A Poster for Emergency Departments
    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's poster for Emergency Departments (ED) outlines what EDs can do to help stop hepatitis A outbreaks. (Courtesy of CDC)
  • Hepatitis A Screen, Vaccinate and Inform Flyer (May 2019)
    ​The Georgia Department of Public Health's flyer provides hepatitis A screening, vaccination and reporting information for emergency department staff and healtcare providers.
  • Hepatitis A Prevention and Disinfection Flyer/Poster
    The Water Quality and Health Council developed hepatitis A prevention and disinfection flyers/posters in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The reource provides illustrations of hand washing and disinfection of surfaces.
  • Hepatitis A Outbreak in Georgia - Information for Food Handlers Flyer (April 2019)
    The Georgia Department of Public Health's flyer provides hepatitis A information for food handlers. The flyer provides information about hepatitis A symptoms, describes appropriate hand washing techniques and reminds food handlers not to work if symptomatic.

Informational Resources:

Postexposure Prophylaxis Recommendations:

Contact the Georgia Viral Hepatitis Program:

Phone: (404) 657-2588

Fax: (404) 657-2608

Page updated 12/22/2022