Short-term protection against hepatitis A is available from immune globulin, a preparation of antibodies that can be given before exposure for short-term protection against hepatitis A and for persons who have already been exposed to HAV.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, HAV infects up to 200,000 Americans each year with the highest rate of hepatitis A being among children five to 14 years of age.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, 11 states have a rate of HAV infection that is at least twice the national average, or 20 cases per every 100,000 people.
Hepatitis A symptoms often go unrecognized because they are not specific to hepatitis A, thus a blood test (IgM anti-HAV) is required to diagnose HAV infection.
HAV is usually spread from person to person by putting something in the mouth that has been contaminated with the stool of a person infected with hepatitis A.