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  • Hepatitis A
  • Disease Issues

How is hepatitis A virus (HAV) shed?

In infected people, HAV replicates in the liver, is excreted in bile, and is shed in stool. Peak infectivity occurs during the 2-week period before onset of jaundice or elevation of liver enzymes, when concentration of virus in stool is highest. Concentration of virus in stool declines after jaundice appears, with most people no longer infectious about a week after jaundice appears. Children can shed HAV for longer periods than adults, up to 10 weeks or longer after onset of clinical illness.

Last reviewed: June 25, 2023

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