Hepatitis A and B

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Viral Hepatitis

Hepatitis A is a vaccine-preventable liver infection caused by the hepatitis A virus (HAV). HAV is found in the stool and blood of people who are infected. Hepatitis A is very contagious. It is spread when someone unknowingly ingests the virus — even in microscopic amounts — through close personal contact with an infected person or through eating contaminated food or drink.

Symptoms of hepatitis A can include:

Yellow skin or eyes

Not wanting to eat

Upset stomach

Throwing up

Stomach pain


Dark urine or light- colored stools

Diarrhea (HAV only)

Joint pain

Feeling tired

Hepatitis B is a vaccine-preventable liver infection caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV). Hepatitis B is spread when blood, semen, or other body fluids from a person infected with the virus enters the body of someone who is not infected. This can happen through sexual contact; sharing needles, syringes, or other drug-injection equipment; or from mother to baby at birth. Not all people newly infected with HBV have symptoms, but for those that do, symptoms can include fatigue, poor appetite, stomach pain, nausea, and jaundice. For many people, hepatitis B is a short-term illness. For others, it can become a long-term, chronic infection that can lead to serious, even life-threatening health issues like cirrhosis or liver cancer. Risk for chronic infection is related to age at infection: about 90% of infants with hepatitis B go on to develop chronic infection, whereas only 2%–6% of people who get hepatitis B as adults become chronically infected.

Symptoms of acute hepatitis B can include:



Loss of appetite



Abdominal pain

Dark urine

Clay-colored bowel movements

Joint pain

Jaundice (yellow color in the skin or the eyes)

If you are experiencing any symptoms listed above and suspect that you may have become infected with Hepatitis A or B, contact your primary health provider right away. For assistance residents can reach out the Delaware County Wellness Line below.

The best way to prevent hepatitis A & B is through vaccination. To get the full benefit of the hepatitis A and B vaccines, more than one shot is needed. Practicing good hand hygiene – including thoroughly washing hands after using the bathroom, changing diapers, and before preparing or eating food – plays an important role in preventing the spread of hepatitis A and B.

The Delaware County Health Department provides immunizations for Hepatitis A and B to children, adolescents, and adults. Hepatitis A and B vaccinations can be received separately or at the same time.

For questions about eligibility, to make an appointment, or suspect you have become infected with Hepatitis A or B call 484-276-2100 or email us at DelcoWellness@co.delaware.pa.us.

Delaware County Health Department Immunizations are available at no cost for those who do not have insurance. Children under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian over 18 Previous immunization records must be brought to the appointment.

Other Resources:
CDC - Viral Hepatitis
PADOH - Hepatitis A
CDC - Hepatitis A Fact Sheet Overview
Spanish Version CDC – Hepatitis Overview
Hepatitis Fact Sheet for Gay and Bisexual Men pdf icon[PDF – 2 pages]

For more information and assistance, the Delaware County Health Department Wellness Line is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In addition to responding to phone calls, the Wellness Line also responds to email inquiries.

Phone: (484) 276-2100 (Available 24/7)
Email: DelcoWellness@co.delaware.pa.us

Contact Us

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         Media, PA 19063
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About Delaware County

Delaware County, presently consisting of over 184 square miles divided into forty-nine municipalities is the oldest settled section of Pennsylvania.

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