Hepatitis A is a liver infection caused by the hepatitis A virus. The hepatitis A virus is found in the stool of people who are infected and can survive on surfaces for several months. Infection can occur when someone ingests the virus, usually through close personal contact with an infected person. When hearing about hepatitis A, many people think of contaminated food or water. That is one way the virus can spread and a common way international travelers get infected. However, most people don’t know that in the United States, hepatitis A is more commonly spread through close personal contact and this is how people are getting infected in the current widespread outbreaks across the country. Hepatitis A is very contagious, and people can spread the virus before they get symptoms such as nausea, stomach pain, and yellow skin or eyes. People who get hepatitis A may feel sick for a few weeks to several months. While most people recover and do not have lasting liver damage, some people need to be hospitalized. Hepatitis A can cause death, especially for people who are older or have other health problems.