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Hepatitis A
What we have to say about your health and well being

What is it?

Hepatitis A is a highly infectious virus that can cause inflammation of the liver. The virus is most commonly transmitted through food or water that has been contaminated by human faeces or by direct contact with an infected person.

Risk areas

Hepatits A occurs worldwide, but areas with high levels of infection include low-income countries where there is poor sanitation or hygeiene practices. High risk areas include:

  • The Indian subcontinent
  • Subsaharan and North Africa
  • Parts of South East Asia
  • South & Central America
  • The Middle East

Prevention

The most common route of infection in travellers is consumption of contaminated food or water. Simple measures to reduce the risk of infection include

    • drinking water from a sealed source or boiled water,
    • avoiding ice made from unpurified water,
    • avoiding salad that may be washed with tap water and
    • ensuring food has been freshly cooked and is hot

Vaccine schedule

There are several effective Hepatitis A vaccines available for travellers who intend to visit areas where Hepatitis A is common. Some of these vaccines have been combined with Typhoid and Hepatitis B.

Vaccine Schedule Age range
Hepatitis A 2 doses, given 6 – 12 months apart Adults & children older than 1 year
Hepatitis A + Typhoid 1 dose followed by a single hepatitis A vaccine 6-12 months later Adults 15 years and over
Hepatitis A + B 3 doses, 0, 1, and 6 months
4 doses, days 0, 7 and 21, 4th dose at 12 months
Adults & children older than 1 year
Adults 18 years and over

Length of protection

The duration of protection from a completed course of Hepatitis A vaccine is a minimum of 25 years.




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