What is Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is a highly contagious viral infection that affects the liver and is primarily spread through contact with contaminated faecal matter. The virus is often transmitted via food and water that have been contaminated by an infected person’s faeces. This can occur when food handlers do not practice proper hand hygiene after using the bathroom or when sewage contaminates water supplies. The virus can survive in the environment for months, especially in water or on surfaces, making it particularly resilient in conditions where sanitation is poor.

The disease is endemic in many regions around the world, particularly in areas where access to clean water and adequate sanitation facilities is limited. Hepatitis A is commonly found across Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and South America. In these regions, the virus is common, and the risk of infection is significant, especially among travellers and residents who may consume contaminated food or water.

How to prevent Hepatitis A

Preventing Hepatitis A involves vaccination, good hygiene practices, and ensuring food and water safety. Vaccination is the most effective means of prevention and is recommended for all children, travellers to areas with high rates of the virus, and individuals at increased risk. Good hygiene practices include regular handwashing with soap and water, especially after using the bathroom and before eating or preparing food. Ensuring food and water safety by consuming only properly cooked foods, avoiding raw or undercooked shellfish, and drinking bottled water further reduces the risk of infection. These combined measures effectively prevent the transmission of Hepatitis A.
Note that the hep A vaccine does not protect against other strains of hepatitis.

Are there side effects of the Hepatitis A vaccine?

About 1 in 10 people who get the vaccine will have some sort of pain or redness at the injection site. 1 in 100 may suffer from nausea or gastrointestinal problems. 1 in 1000 may experience dizziness or vomiting and 1 in 10000 may suffer from Hypoesthesia, paraesthesia or pruritus.

If you experience these or any other side effects after taking the vaccine you should report it to your GP even if you are not certain that the vaccine caused it.

Hepatitis A vaccines.

£60 per dose (Adult)
£40 per dose (Paediatric)

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