Hepatitis A is caused by the hepatitis A virus (HAV). The virus is found in the stool (feces) of HAV-infected people. Hepatitis A can easily spread from one person to another by putting something in the mouth that has been contaminated with the stool of a person with hepatitis A. It is spread more easily when sanitary conditions are poor or good personal hygiene is not observed.
The Hepatitis A virus is spread:
- when someone ingests anything that's contaminated with HAV-infected stool (this makes it easy for the virus to spread in overcrowded, unsanitary living conditions)
- in water, milk and foods, especially in shellfish
- through close person-to-person contact
Because hepatitis A can be a mild infection, particularly in children, it's possible for some people to be unaware that they have had the illness. Although medical tests show that about 40% of urban Americans have had hepatitis A, only about 5% recall being sick.
To learn more about hepatitis A, please go to these links:
Primary Contact Information:
|Hepatitis Coordinator: Dielda Robertson, MPH|
1450 Poydras Street
New Orleans, LA 70112
Telephone: (504) 568-8289