Hepatitis A is a viral disease transmitted via the faecal-oral route. Typically, infection is passed on through the eating or drinking of food and/or water contaminated by the faeces of an infected person, or by contaminated items like crafts, money, door handles and the like. It is a common vaccine-preventable infection in travellers visiting developing countries.
The incubation period for the hepatitis A virus is generally around 30 days (ranging from 2 to 6 weeks). Common symptoms include fever, loss of appetite, nausea and pain in the right upper abdomen, followed within several days by jaundice, a condition that results in yellowing of the skin and whites of eyes.
- Inactivated Hepatitis A vaccine is a safe, highly effective way to prevent infection.
- It's also important to ensure proper hygiene, avoid sharing food or crockery and always drink bottled water.
Who should get the vaccine?
People 1 year of age and older who are traveling to countries where they would have a high or intermediate risk of hepatitis A virus, should strongly consider the Hepatitis A vaccine. These areas include all parts of the world except Canada, western Europe and Scandinavia, Japan, New Zealand, and Australia: