Acute Hepatitis A
Last updated: November 14, 2012
A 37-year-old previously healthy woman presents with a chief complaint of dark urine. She has had flu-like symptoms over the last week, including fever, headache, decreased appetite, and mild nausea. Review of systems is otherwise negative. She denies any intravenous drug use, receipt of blood transfusions, or recent travel. She is a graduate student in astronomy, is married, and has a 4-year-old son and 9-month-old daughter who are in daycare. Physical examination reveals a temperature of 100.5°F, mild hepatomegaly, and faint scleral icterus. Laboratory studies show a white blood cell count of 10,200/µL, hematocrit 38%, platelet count 205,000/µL, normal chemistry panel, aspartate aminotransferase (AST) 1,130 units/L, alanine aminotransferase (ALT) 1,480 units/L, total bilirubin of 3.7 mg/dL, and INR 1.0. Additional laboratory tests are performed and she is diagnosed with acute hepatitis A virus (HAV) infection.
Which of the following statements is TRUE regarding acute HAV infection in this patient?