Symptoms of hepatitis A may not develop in some people who are infected. Young children tend to have mild cases, while older children and adults are likely to have more severe cases. Typically, the virus incubates for 15 to 45 days before any symptoms occur.
The symptoms associated with hepatitis A are similar to the flu, but the skin and eyes may become yellow (jaundiced) because the liver is not able to filter bilirubin (a product that results from the breakdown of hemoglobin) from the blood.
The following symptoms may develop with hepatitis A infection:
Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes)
Loss of appetite
Nausea and vomiting
Abdominal pain or discomfort, especially in the area of the liver
Pale or clay-colored stools
Over 85% of people with hepatitis A recover within 3 months, and over 99% of people recover by 6 months. Hepatitis A infection does not become chronic.