Risk is present worldwide however the infection is more prevalent in developing countries with poor sanitary conditions and hygienic practices i.e. Africa, Asia, South & Central America.
Improved sanitation, food safety and immunization are the most effective ways to combat hepatitis A. Only drink bottled/boiled water and eat freshly cooked, piping hot food. Cold, uncooked food (with the exception of fruit that can be peeled), and sources of tap water e.g. ice, salads etc. must be avoided.
The incubation period is usually 14–28 days. Whilst not everyone with hepatitis A develops signs and symptoms, certain individuals may develop relatively mild ones which disappear within a few weeks. These include fatigue, sudden nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain or discomfort, colored bowel movements, loss of appetite, low-grade fever, dark urine, joint pain, yellowing of the skin and the whites of your eyes (jaundice), and intense itching. Occasionally, hepatitis A infection results in a severe illness that lasts several months.
• Course: 1 dose protects for 12 months. If you have another booster after one year, you remain protected for at least 10 years thereafter.
• When to get vaccinated: Ideally travelers need to be vaccinated at least two weeks before travel.
• Side effects: Temporary soreness, redness and hardening of the skin at the injection site is possible. Less common side effects include a slightly raised temperature, feeling unwell, tiredness, headache, feeling sick and loss of appetite.
• Children: The vaccine is suitable for children from the age of one, however, we only vaccinate children aged 12 years and older.