Hepatitis A is usually a limited disease. Children can have the illness without even noticing any symptoms, although a few will be mildly ill and even fewer will have jaundice. Adults are more likely to notice the nausea and general malaise, and over half of adults will become jaundiced. When symptoms occur, they can last for several weeks, with very rare cases lasting up to six months.
The major risk of hepatitis A is that the virus will attack the liver so severely that the liver will end up failing and shutting down. This is very rare but is more common in people with preexisting liver disease, such as alcoholics or people already infected with hepatitis C.
There is no specific treatment for either the mild or severe hepatitis A infection. In both cases, the medical community provides supportive care, which might range from rest and fluids all the way up to hospitalization and a possible liver transplant. The good news is that, unlike hepatitis B, there is no chronic hepatitis A. Once the illness is over, there will no longer be any virus remaining in your body.