Hepatitis A is a viral infection which causes the Liver to become inflamed. It is transmitted by eating or drinking food and water contaminated with infected faecal matter. Shellfish that feed on waters that have been polluted with infected sewage, and waste salads, vegetables and fruits are a common source of infection. .
The average length of time it takes symptoms to develop is 28 days, however they can appear sooner. Patients are most infectious soon after they have been infected before symptoms appear. Common symptoms are anorexia, nausea and fever. These are then followed by Jaundice, which is characterised by the skin and eyes turning yellow and urine becomes brown or tea coloured. Children under 6 will not become jaundiced, so they may be infectious without showing obvious signs of the disease.
Treatment for Hepatitis A is usually bed rest and an adequate intake of fluids. Your doctor may give you some painkillers to help with the pain and some medicine to help with the nausea and vomiting. Jaundice may cause itching, which can also be managed with medication.
Hepatitis A is most common in parts of the world with poor sanitation, so is seldom found in more affluent countries such as those in Western Europe, Scandinavia, North America, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.
Those at greatest risk are:
The vaccine used to prevent Hepatitis A is Vaqta. It is effective after 2-4 weeks and protects you for up to 18 months. It is advisable to have a booster 6-18 months after the first dose. If you have completed a full course of immunisation, including a booster (i.e. 2 injections); you will be protected for up to 25 years.
You can be vaccinated at our clinic today from only £40 for an adult dose (18 years and above) and £30 for a paediatric dose (1-17 years). Call 02089021328 for more information.