Liver Health

Updated 23 March 2016

Causes of hepatitis A

The hepatitis A virus may be acquired from human faeces, contaminated uncooked shellfish and raw vegetables, and sexual contact with an infected person.

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The hepatitis A virus is found in the faeces of an infected person. It is usually acquired from hands that are soiled after using the toilet or changing a nappy, or by swallowing water or food that have been contaminated by human faeces.

Uncooked shellfish and raw vegetables contaminated by sewage can also be a route of infection.

In addition, sexual contact with an infected person is a recognised route of infection. 

Read more: 

Diagnosing hepatitis A 

Preventing hepatitis A  

Treating hepatitis A 

Revised and reviewed by Dr Karin Richter, MMed Path (Medical Virology), FC Path(SA) Viro, Dip HIV Man (SA), Dip Obst (SA), MBChB , Clinical Virologist, Senior Lecturer, Department of Medical Virology, University of Pretoria, Faculty of Health Sciences, and Consultant Pathologist, Tshwane Academic Division, National Health Laboratory Services (NHLS) February 2015.