Hepatitis A Surveillance 2020

Hepatitis A, 2020 banner

What is Hepatitis A?

Hepatitis A is a vaccine-preventable liver disease caused by the hepatitis A virus (HAV). HAV is usually transmitted person-to-person through the fecal–oral route or through consumption of contaminated food or water.

Most adults and older children with hepatitis A have symptoms that usually resolve within 2 months after infection; children aged less than 6 years usually do not have symptoms, or they have an unrecognized infection.

Signs and symptoms associated with hepatitis A can include:

  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Abdominal pain
  • Dark urine
  • Clay-colored stools

Hepatitis A is a self-limited disease that does not result in chronic infection. Treatment for HAV infection might include rest, adequate nutrition, and fluids. Hospitalization might be required for more severe cases.

The best way to prevent hepatitis A is by being vaccinated.1

Hepatitis A in 2020


There were 9,952 new cases of hepatitis A reported during 2020


There were 19,900 estimated infections during 2020


There were 3 reported cases of hepatitis A per 100,000 population during 2020

Hepatitis A Cases remain 7 times higher than in 2015

After annual increases since 2015, hepatitis A cases decreased 47% from 2019 to 2020. In the four years before 2020, the United States experienced multistate increases in hepatitis A outbreaks primarily caused by person-to-person spread mostly among adults who experience homelessness or use drugs.  From 2019 to 2020 there was a 47% decrease in incidence.

During 2020 several states declared an end to outbreaks, while only two reported new outbreaks. However, the number of cases in 2020 remains 7 times higher than in 2015.

Fast Facts about Hepatitis A in 2020


The rate of cases decreased 47% from 2019 through 2020

30-39 years

Persons 30-39 years old are most affected by hepatitis A


The number of reported cases during 2020 is 7x higher than during 2015


84% of cases occurred among non-Hispanic White persons

Hepatitis A Facts & Figures


  1. Nelson NP, Weng MK, Hofmeister MG, et al. Prevention of hepatitis A virus infection in the United States: recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, 2020. MMWR Recomm Rep 2020;69(No. RR-5):1–38.