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.
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.
Twenty-five percent of all HAV positive newborns develop chronic liver disease by the third to fourth decade of life.
This test detects a specific antibody, called hepatitis A IgM, that develops when HAV is present in the body.
If a child is diagnosed with HAV, other family members should be treated to prevent spread of the disease.