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  • Writer's pictureIEP Urgent Care

Recognize the Symptoms of Hepatitis A

woman with stomach pain

Health authorities have reported two new cases of Hepatitis A in southeast Michigan. 

Hepatitis A is a contagious liver infection caused by the Hepatitis A virus (HAV). Unlike Hepatitis B and C, Hepatitis A does not result in chronic liver disease, but it can still cause significant discomfort and health complications. 

Recognizing the symptoms of Hepatitis A is tricky, as they can be confused for any number of other conditions including Influenza or food poisoning. If you’re experiencing a combination of any of these symptoms, the ER-trained providers at IEP Urgent Care can test and confirm what illness you might be dealing with:


One of the hallmark symptoms of Hepatitis A is jaundice, a condition characterized by yellowing of the skin and eyes. This occurs when the liver is unable to effectively process bilirubin, a yellow pigment produced during the normal breakdown of red blood cells.


Individuals with Hepatitis A often experience extreme fatigue, which can interfere with daily activities. The virus affects the liver's ability to function optimally, leading to a lack of energy and overall weakness.

Abdominal Pain

Hepatitis A can cause discomfort and pain in the abdominal region. This may be due to inflammation of the liver and the surrounding tissues. The pain can range from mild to severe and is typically felt in the upper right side of the abdomen.

Nausea and Vomiting

Nausea and vomiting are common symptoms of Hepatitis A. The virus can disrupt normal digestive processes, leading to feelings of queasiness and an aversion to food.

Loss of Appetite

Hepatitis A can lead to a loss of appetite, causing individuals to eat less than usual. This, coupled with nausea, can result in weight loss.


A mild to moderate fever is another symptom of Hepatitis A. The body's immune response to the infection may lead to an elevated temperature.

Dark Urine and Pale Stools

Changes in urine and stool color can be indicative of liver dysfunction. Dark urine and pale-colored stools are common in individuals with Hepatitis A.

Joint Pain

Some people with Hepatitis A may experience joint pain and muscle aches. This is thought to be related to the body's immune response to the virus.

The best way to prevent Hepatitis A is through vaccination. Practicing good hygiene, including frequent handwashing, especially after using the restroom and before preparing or consuming food, is also crucial in preventing the spread of the virus.

For more information, please visit the Washtenaw County Health Department website.


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