Hepatitis A is a virus which affects the liver. Occasionally it is severe enough to cause liver failure, with 2% of cases in adults being fatal.
The main symptoms include:
- Feeling tired
- Generally feeling unwell
- Pain in joints and muscles
- High temperature
- Decrease or loss of appetite
- Nausea or vomiting
- Tummy pain in the upper-right area
- Yellowing of skin and eyes
- Dark urine and pale stools
- Itchy skin
1. How do you catch it?
Hepatitis A infection usually occurs through eating or drinking food and water contaminated with human waste or sewage. It can also be spread from person to person and by people with poor personal hygiene who handle or prepare food.
Try your best to stick to bottled water. Be careful with eating out (would definitely be worth your time to do prior research on restaurants/takeaways found at your destination). Additionally (and more importantly), if you are not already vaccinated, get yourself vaccinated!
3. Vaccination options
If you are travelling to a country with a risk of Hepatitis A, vaccination is recommended
Number of doses? 1 dose.
When to do the course? Ideally, two weeks before your trip, although even a day before your trip is acceptable as form of protection.
Booster doses? The initial dose provides protection for up to 2 years. A single booster dose within 6-12 months will provide protection of 25 years!
Age restrictions? Vaccine is available for anyone above the age of one.
4. At Risk Destinations
Hepatitis A is found across the world, but some countries have higher incidences than others. In particular, countries in South America, Africa and Asia. The risk in any area depends on local hygiene practices and the local sanitation system.
For a free risk assessment and expert advice, contact us today and speak with one of our dedicated healthcare professionals.