Hepatitis A is an infectious disease of the liver. Globally, around 1.4 million symptomatic cases occur each year and about 114 million infections (symptomatic and asymptomatic). It is more common in regions of the world with poor sanitation and not enough safe water. In the developing world, about 90% of children have been infected by age 10, thus are immune by adulthood.
It is usually spread by eating food or drinking water contaminated with infected feces. Shellfish which have not been sufficiently cooked are a relatively common source. It may also be spread through close contact with an infectious person. While children often do not have symptoms when infected, they are still able to infect others.