Hepatitis A

What it is:

Hepatitis A is an infection of the liver caused by a virus. The symptoms are a sudden fever, discomfort, loss of appetite, nausea and dark urine. While the illness is usually mild, it can be severe. Symptoms last about 2 weeks, but complete recovery takes 8 weeks.

How you get it:

Hepatitis A infection is spread through contaminated food or water and by person to person contact with an infected person. Travelers in countries with poor or less developed sanitation systems are at the greatest risk for infection.

How to protect yourself:

Getting the Hepatitis A vaccine is a good start. In addition, when you are traveling, it's always good to be "Food-wise and Water-smart" and ALWAYS practice good personal hygiene (hand washing especially).

Where is it common:

Hepatitis A is common in Indian subcontinent, the Far East, South America and Eastern Europe.

Who should get Yellow Fever vaccine:

Anyone who is travelling to areas of high risk (Indian subcontinent, the Far East, South Amarica and Eastern Europe). Also people with chronic liver disease, as they are especially at risk.

What to expect after vaccination:

Adverse reactions to hepatitis A immunization are usually mild and confined to the first few days after immunization. The most common reactions are mild, transient soreness, and redness at the injection site. Severe reactions (such as lips swelling, tongue swelling, diffculty breathing, etc) following vaccination are very rare.