Hepatitis A Surveillance 2021

Hepatitis A, 2021 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
  • Jaundice

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.

Hepatitis A in 2021


There were 5,728 new cases of hepatitis A reported during 2021


There were 11,500 estimated infections during 2021


There were 1.7 reported cases of hepatitis A per 100,000 population during 2021

Hepatitis A Cases Remain 4 Times Higher Than in 2015

After annual increases since 2015, hepatitis A cases began to decrease in 2020. Since 2016, the United States experienced multistate hepatitis A outbreaks primarily caused by person-to-person spread mostly among adults who experience homelessness or use drugs. From 2020–2021, there was a 43% decrease in incidence.

During 2021, eight states declared an end to outbreaks. However, the number of cases in 2021 remains 4 times higher than in 2015.

Fast Facts About Hepatitis A During 2021


The rate of hepatitis A cases decreased 43% from 2020–2021

30–39 years

Persons aged 30–39 years have the highest rate of hepatitis A


The number of hepatitis A cases during 2021 is 4x higher than during 2015


76% of hepatitis A cases occurred among non-Hispanic White persons