What is Hepatitis A and why do I need a vaccine?
Hepatitis A is an infection of the liver caused by the virus. The virus is spread through contaminated water and food, especially shellfish or through person to person contact where personal hygiene is poor.
Hepatitis A occurs worldwide, mostly in countries where sanitation is poor. Most of the cases imported into Britain have been contracted in the Indian sub-continent.
Key Fact: Recovery from the illness can take people weeks or months, leading to significant time absent from work, school, or daily life.
Faecal Oral: Ingestion of contaminated food or water, close personal or sexual contact with an infected person, intravenous drug use.
Cases: 126 million cases worldwide annually of Hepatitis A (estimated)
Symptoms: Symptoms include fever, malaise, loss of appetite, diarrhoea, nausea, abdominal discomfort, dark-coloured urine and jaundice
Severe case: In rare instances, acute liver failure that can result in finally in death.
Precautions: Vaccination. Personal hygiene practices, such as regular hand-washing with safe water after using the toilet and before preparing food. Exercise caution when consuming food you have not prepared, or drinks made with water (including ice cubes). Additionally avoid eating raw or undercooked shellfish.