Causes and Diagnoses

Causes and Diagnoses of Hepatitis A

The hepatitis A virus (HAV) causes hepatitis A infection. It is most commonly spread through contact with contaminated stool. That may occur when:

  • You eat food prepared by an infected person who doesn’t wash his or her hands after using the bathroom.
  • You don’t wash your hands properly after changing the diaper of someone who has the infection.
  • You have close contact or sex with someone who has the infection.
  • You drink contaminated water or eat food that’s rinsed in contaminated water.

Hepatitis A is not spread through nasal or respiratory secretions, breast milk or casual contact.

Diagnosing hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is diagnosed based on your symptoms and a blood test that looks for the hepatitis A virus antibodies.

Diagnostic Tests