- Hepatitis A is usually spread through contact with an infected person's faeces (poo).
- A common cause of infection is poor hand washing with food preparation which can lead to spread via food and water.
- Symptoms include flu-like symptoms and yellowing of your skin and the whites of your eyes (jaundice). Some people have no symptoms at all and serious problems are very rare.
- In most instances the symptoms go away over 1 to 2 weeks (unlike the more serious types of viral hepatitis caused by hepatitis B or hepatitis C).
- There is no specific treatment for hepatitis A infection. For most people, your immune system will fight the virus and heal your liver.
- To reduce the risk of other people becoming infected, anyone with hepatitis infection should stay home and not prepare food for other people for 7 days from the onset of jaundice.
- Good personal hygiene such as washing your hands after going to the toilet helps to prevent spreading the virus to others.
October 2022: Risk of hepatitis A from frozen berries
There have been reports of hepatitis A from eating frozen berries. New Zealand Food Safety is advising people to:
- briefly boil berries before eating them
- ensure cooking temperatures exceed 85o C for 1 minute
- wash your hands before eating and preparing food.
More information about the recall of frozen berries can be found at the Ministry for Primary Industries.(external link)