Skip to Content

Department of Health Services

Public Health Division

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is a liver infection caused by the Hepatitis A virus (Hep A). It is highly contagious, and is transmitted through ingestion of contaminated food and water or through direct contact with an infectious person.

Individuals could be at risk for the virus if they: are living with poor sanitation or lack of safe water; use recreational drugs; live in a household with an infected person; or have a sexual partner infected with the virus.

Fortunately, Hep A can be prevented with regular hand washing, and by avoiding risk factors.

There is also an effective vaccine. If you believe you are at increased risk for Hep A, please contact your healthcare provider to learn more about the availability of the vaccine in Sonoma County.

California’s Hepatitis A Outbreaks

Sonoma County health officials are monitoring the various Hepatitis A outbreaks in California. There are currently no cases in Sonoma County associated with these outbreaks. However, we are urging the public to keep safe and healthy practices in mind to prevent the Hepatitis A virus.

Symptoms of Hepatitis A


  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Jaundice (yellowing of skin and eyes)
  • Stomach pain
  • Vomiting
  • Dark urine, pale stools, diarrhea

If you think you have Hepatitis A because of these symptoms, see your doctor or visit the closest Emergency Room.

Community Resources

Why Should You Care About Hepatitis A?

Hepatitis A is a liver infection caused by the Hepatitis A virus (Hep A). Hep A is highly contagious. It can cause liver disease lasting a few weeks to a serious illness lasting months.

  • In some cases, people can die. Hepatitis A can be prevented with a safe and effective vaccine and by safe hygiene practices.
  • Most infections result from close personal contact with an infected household member or a sexual partner.

How Does Hepatitis A Spread?

  • Touching objects or eating food that someone with Hepatitis A infection handled.
  • Having sex with someone who has a Hepatitis A infection.

How Can You Prevent Hepatitis A?

  • Wash your hands frequently, especially after using the bathroom.
  • Get vaccinated.
  • Don’t share food, drinks, or smokes with other people.
  • Don’t have sex with someone who has Hepatitis A infection.

For More Information

Talk to your healthcare provider.

Provider Resources

Health Advisory: Hepatitis A Outbreaks in California; Prevention Recommendations (September 2017)
Source: Sonoma County Department of Health Services.

Hepatitis A: Information for Clients
English | Spanish(PDF: 2550 Kb)
Source: Sonoma County Department of Health Services.

Frequently Asked Questions for Health Professionals
Source: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Hepatitis A Vaccine Information Statement
English | Spanish (PDF: 273 Kb)
Source: Immunization Action Coalition.

Hepatitis A Information
Source: California Department of Public Health.

Hepatitis A Outbreak in California(PDF)
Source: California Department of Public Health.