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Is Jaundice Contagious? The Truth Behind It

Do you have jaundice, and now you are worried about your loved ones? Do you also come here to know whether it’s contagious or not?

Well, then let me share the good news with you. Jaundice is not contagious, so you don’t need to worry about it; it won’t spread. But there is something you need to know: there are some causes of jaundice that are contagious. We will share all about these causes in detail below.

Reading this article will clear up all your doubts about the contagiousness of jaundice. Moreover, we have also shared the diagnosis and treatment options for this disease to help you recover quickly. Let’s start with a quick overview of jaundice.

What Is Jaundice?

Jaundice is a very popular disease known for the yellowing of the skin, eyes, and mucous membranes. It occurs due to an excessive buildup of bilirubin in your blood. Bilirubin is a yellow material produced by the breakdown of red blood cells. Normally, the liver converts it into bile, but in this condition, it is unable to do so due to excessive production. It then results in jaundice.

Is It Contagious?

No, jaundice itself is not contagious, but there are some of its potential causes that are contagious. Those causes may spread from person to person and result in developing this infection. That’s why it is confused with being contagious. Let’s understand it in the following heading by taking a look at all its causes in detail.

How Is Jaundice Considered Contagious?

Jaundice is considered contagious when it can be transmitted from person to person. It only happens when it shows that it is a symptom of any other disease, like viral hepatitis. Let’s understand it by taking a detailed look at these types of jaundice.

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A spreads when you are not vaccinated and you eat the contaminated food of any person affected by this disease. It mostly happens when most people are drinking water together.

Hepatitis B

The next one is Hepatitis B. It spreads due to blood or bodily fluids. It can also be transmitted by having sex with an infected person. Sharing needles is also one of its potential causes.

Hepatitis C

The risk factors that make it contagious also include sex and needles, like hepatitis B. You should be very careful, whether you are a nurse or doctor dealing with jaundice patients. Especially, be very careful when handling the needle used on an infected person.

Hepatitis D

This is a rare type of hepatitis. You can call it an advanced version of hepatitis B. It occurs when you come into contact with an infected person and you already have Hepatitis B.

Hepatitis E

The last one is Hepatitis E. It spreads easily and usually occurs due to drinking contaminated water. This is not a chronic or serious type and is easy to treat.

Other Causes Of Jaundice

There are several causes of jaundice that are non-contagious as well. These include;

  • Cancer
  • Cholestasis
  • Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
  • Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency
  • Autoimmune hemolytic anemia
  • Autoimmune disorders like autoimmune hepatitis
  • Sepsis
  • Wilson’s disease
  • Polycythemia vera
  • Sickle cell anemia
  • Elliptocytosis
  • Gilbert’s syndrome

Jaundice Diagnosis And Treatment

A timely diagnosis and proper treatment are essential to getting rid of jaundice. Here is how to do it:


The diagnosis process usually starts with a checkup with a doctor. Following are the tests required to diagnose it properly in infants and adults.

  • A light meter test and TSB (total serum bilirubin) are usually done to diagnose it in infants.
  • For adults, your doctor may ask you for blood tests like LFC and CBC. Moreover, you may also be asked to get image tests like ultrasonography (USG), CT scans, and MRIs.


Jaundice treatment varies from person to person. Your doctor will recommend to you the most suitable treatment method according to the diagnosis. This treatment method varies primarily due to its cause. Follow the method required by your doctor. Following are some of the treatment options that are commonly prescribed by doctors:

  • Treating the underlying cause
  • Phototherapy
  • Medications
  • Blood transfusion
  • Liver transplant

Alongside these treatments, follow your doctor’s instructions related to your diet as well.

Final Words

Jaundice is usually not contagious, but there are certain conditions that can make it contagious. You must be especially careful with it if you have not been vaccinated. It is a very serious disease, and you should seek medical attention as soon as possible to avoid any complications.

Strictly follow your doctor’s recommended treatments and advice to get rid of it as soon as possible. Keep yourself hydrated. Drink plenty of fluids; it will lessen the production of bilirubin and eventually make you feel better. Keep visiting us for more information about health and fitness.


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