Hepatitis A virus
|Incubation period||15-50 days (mean 28 days)|
|How far back to trace||50 days from onset of symptoms|
|Usual testing method||Serology for hepatitis A (Hepatitis A IgM positive)|
|Common symptoms||Acute hepatitis with jaundice, malaise, abdominal pain, dark urine|
Likelihood of transmission per act of condomless intercourse
|Probably high if any faecal contamination of mouth|
|Likelihood of long-term sexual partner being infected||High, if susceptible|
|Protective effect of condoms||Nil (transmission is faecal-oral)|
|Transmission by oral sex||Possible if faecal contamination is present|
|Duration of potential infectivity||
Two weeks before the onset of prodromal symptoms to either one week after the onset of jaundice (if it occurs), OR
two weeks after the onset of prodromal symptoms (if jaundice does not occur).
|Important sequelae||Rarely, severe hepatitis and acute liver failure|
|Direct benefit of detection and treatment of contacts||
Vaccination and prophylaxis for contacts.
Reduced family and community transmission.
|Usual management of contacts||
Post-exposure prophylaxis using hepatitis A vaccine or normal human immunoglobulin (NHIG) (passive immunisation) can be used to prevent secondary cases in close contacts of hepatitis A cases.
Healthy contacts aged 1-40 years use monovalent hepatitis A vaccine.
Contacts aged over 40 years or immunosuppressed give NHIG and vaccine.
Contacts aged <1 give NHIG.
Other groups see:
|Contact tracing priority||High including sexual contacts, domestic contacts, close social contacts, and food handlers|
Acute viral hepatitis A is notifiable by all doctors and laboratories in all Australian states and territories, and New Zealand.
Hepatitis A National Guidelines for Public Health 2018 https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/hepatitis-a-cdna-national-guidelines-for-public-health-units
Page last updated September 2022