What is Hepatitis A, and how does it transmit?
Hepatitis A is an infection of the liver transmitted through ingestion of contaminated food and water or through direct contact with an infectious person. Vaccination against Hepatitis A is offered to people who are at a high risk of infection or those travelling to countries with poor levels of sanitation. In this blog, we are going to give advice for those travelling to a Hepatitis A hotspot.
“Last year, Tom travelled to Mexico, where he sampled a warm corn drink. He believes this was the trigger for him contracting Hepatitis A.
Before Toms diagnosis, he experienced an acute phase of a flu-like illness that lasted several days. Following his diagnosis, he lost 35 pounds, suffered irregular body temperature fluctuations, extreme fatigue, and severe itching that prevented him from sleeping through the night for almost two months.”
It was not necessary for Tom to have gotten as sick as he did. By getting vaccinated at your local Travel Clinic, you can protect yourself against Hepatitis A.
Generally feeling unwell
Pain in the muscles
Yellowing of eyes and skin (jaundice)
Unnatural stools (faeces) and urine colours
Hepatitis A Hotspots
Hepatitis A occurs worldwide but is most common in developing countries with inadequate sanitation, limited access to clean water, and poor hygienic conditions. For example, Africa, Asia, Central and South America, the Middle East, and the Western Pacific. Most developed countries with good sanitary conditions and hygienic practices have lower rates of Hepatitis A; however, the risk may be increased in certain areas with unsteady sanitary conditions or due to consumption of imported contaminated food from global sources.
Advice for those travelling to a Hepatitis A hotspots
Before you go on your travels, book an appointment with our travel experts to discuss the need for a vaccine. Vaccinations are more effective if they are administered 2-3 weeks in advance of your departure. This should be followed by a second injection 6 to 12 months later. Moreover, the vaccine can be given on short notice if required.
If the vaccine is not administered, Hepatitis A infection can last upwards of 2-4 months. Also, in severe cases, 1 in 250 people may develop eventual liver failure, which can be life-threatening.
There is currently no known cure for Hepatitis A. If contracted, symptoms will naturally get better after a couple of months with the right amount of rest and recuperation. Vaccination is highly recommended to avoid contraction.
Visit your nearest Travel Clinic today. Alternatively, feel free to contact one of our travel experts for more information.