The symptoms of hepatitis A develop, on average, around four weeks after becoming infected, although not everyone with the infection will experience them.

See your GP if you think you could have been infected with the virus. A blood test will be needed to rule out more serious conditions that have similar symptoms.

Initial symptoms

The initial symptoms of hepatitis A can include:

These symptoms usually last from a few days up to a couple of weeks.

Later symptoms

After the initial symptoms, the following symptoms may develop:

Most people make a full recovery within a couple of months, although the symptoms can come and go for up to six months.

Signs of a serious problem

Hepatitis A isn't usually a serious illness, but in rare cases it can cause the liver to stop working properly (liver failure).

In addition to the symptoms above, signs of liver failure can include:

  • sudden, severe vomiting
  • a tendency to bruise and bleed easily (for example, frequent nosebleeds or bleeding gums)
  • irritability
  • problems with memory and concentration
  • drowsiness and confusion

Get medical advice as soon as possible if you experience these symptoms. Liver failure can be life-threatening if not treated quickly.

Page last reviewed: 20/04/2016

Next review due: 20/04/2018