Article culled from: https://www.passporthealthglobal.com/
What Is Hepatitis A?
Hepatitis A is a virus affecting the liver. It usually spreads through contaminated food or water. Unlike other forms of hepatitis, A cannot become a chronic infection.
Symptoms often appear two to six weeks after exposure. This means a traveller can visit a country and return not knowing they’re infected.
Some common hepatitis A symptoms include:
- Low Appetite
- Stomach Pain and Nausea
These will persist for a few weeks, severe cases can last months. Death is rare.
How Does Hepatitis A Spread?
Contaminated food or water is the most common source of hepatitis A infection. Contamination can happen at any point in the food growing, processing or cooking process. Travellers are at an increased risk. Take extra precautions in developing countries with poor sanitary conditions.
It is possible for the disease to spread through close contact with an infected person. This includes sex or caring for an infected person.
Vaccination is the best form of protection.
How Hepatitis Strains Spread
FOOD OR WATER
What Is the Hepatitis A Vaccine?
Hepatitis A vaccination provides the best form of protection against the virus. Most vaccinations come in two doses given six months apart. Most children are vaccinated around one-year-old.
Studies indicate the vaccine protects for 40 years or more.
Immune globulin is an alternative to hepatitis A vaccination that provides short-term protection for travellers. This is also offered at Passport Health locations across North America.
Who Should Get a Hepatitis A Vaccine?
The hepatitis A vaccine is recommended for everyone over the age of 1 year. The PHAC highly recommends vaccination for individuals in the following groups:
- Work or travel to countries with hepatitis A
- Live in an area where hepatitis A is present
- Are homosexual and identify as male
- Use street drugs
- Work with hepatitis A samples or patients
Many older adults have not been vaccinated against hepatitis A. Make sure you’re protected with a visit to Passport Health.
Where Does Hepatitis A Occur?
Hepatitis A is a very common illness throughout the world. Even developed countries like Canada, the United States or Australia can have outbreaks. But, some regions carry a higher risk of infection.
The vaccine is recommended for travel to almost every region of the world. Some of the most popular destinations where hepatitis A vaccination would be recommended include:
To find out if hepatitis A vaccination is recommended for your trip, see our destination advice portal.