Skip to main content

Hepatitis A alert

Hepatitis A alert

Hepatitis A has been spreading among gay, bi- and other men who have sex with men in King County, across the U.S. and in Europe. Hepatitis A (hep A) is a highly contagious liver disease that can last for months.

Common symptoms include:

  • fever
  • nausea
  • loss of appetite
  • clay-colored poop
  • yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice)

Some people with hep A don't have any symptoms. On rare occasions it can cause liver failure and death.

The best way to prevent hepatitis A is by getting the hepatitis A vaccine. Most adults were not vaccinated for hepatitis A as children, so you may not be protected.

Free hepatitis A vaccines are available

If you have insurance, please visit your healthcare provider to get the hepatitis A vaccine. You can also check for pharmacies where you can get vaccinations.

If you don't have a healthcare provider, the following locations will provide the hepatitis A vaccine for free or for a sliding fee scale:

How hepatitis A spreads

Many people don't know they have hep A so they spread it without knowing. The virus spreads when tiny, undetectable amounts of poop get into your mouth. You can get hepatitis A from:

  • Having any kind of sexual activity with someone who has hep A (not just oral sex). Condoms and other measures to prevent STDs do not prevent hep A.
  • Sharing drug injection equipment
  • Swallowing food or drink contaminated with the virus
  • Touching surfaces or objects contaminated with the virus, then putting your hands in your mouth

More on the current situation in King County:
More on hepatitis A:

Link/share our site at