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  • Hepatitis A
  • Disease Issues

How stable is hepatitis A virus (HAV) in the environment?

Depending on conditions, HAV can be stable in the environment for months; freezing does not inactivate (i.e., render non-infectious) HAV. HAV is inactivated by heating foods to temperatures greater than 185°F (85°C) for 1 minute. In addition, HAV on surfaces is inactivated by disinfecting surfaces with a 1:100 dilution of sodium hypochlorite (i.e., household bleach) in tap water.

Adequately chlorinating water through water treatment processes and dilution in public water systems kills HAV. Spas and swimming pools that are adequately treated are not likely to pose a risk for HAV outbreaks.

Last reviewed: June 25, 2023

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