Facts About Hepatitis A

• Hepatitis A is a tough customer to kill. It can survive for months on open surfaces, such as toys and changing tables, as well as in ice and frozen foods. In fact, an outbreak of hepatitis A in Anchorage, AK, was linked to slushies.

• It takes about a month for the virus to incubate in the body. Prodromal symptoms include fever, fatigue, myalgia, nausea, and vomiting. Within 24 hours of developing those symptoms, the acute illness strikes.

• While there is no "carrier state" with hepatitis A, those infected shed the virus in their feces for two weeks before symptoms appear, and for one week after.

• One food to avoid if you’re concerned about hepatitis A: raw oysters. Shellfish pulled from polluted waters are notorious carriers of the virus.

• Hepatitis A is like chicken pox: Once you get it, you’re immune.