Figure 7-3. Structure of HAV.
7-15. MODE OF TRANSMISSION
The hepatitis A virus is transmitted via the oral-fecal (enteric) route. The HAV may be
found in feces and may be transmitted to others through poor personal hygiene, through
the sharing of eating utensils, through oral-anal sexual contact, or through the sharing of
common items which are contaminated with infectious fecal material such as children's
toys. Contaminated food and water are frequent modes of transmission.
7-16. INCUBATION PERIOD AND INFECTIVITY
The appearance of symptoms and infectivity ranges from 15 to 45 days following
the first exposure to the hepatitis A virus. The virus is rapidly cleared from the body at
the onset of symptoms. The highest period of infectivity occurs during the late
incubation period. The patient is considered potentially infectious for up to 2 weeks
after the onset of symptoms. There are no reported cases of a chronic carrier (infection
longer than 6 months) HAV state.