What is Hepatitis A?
Hepatitis A is classified as a viral infection of the liver that causes inflammation that can lead to failure and issues with organs in the body when left untreated. With Hepatitis A being similar to a complex form of the flu, all hepatitis strains have similar symptoms like mild fevers, disrupted stomach & abdominal pains, sickness & diarrhoea. In some cases jaundice may occur because of the liver failure. Hepatitis A is uncommon in the UK and most cases reported in the UK are diagnosed in recent travellers of the sub-Indian continent.
What causes Hepatitis A?
The most common cause of contracting Hepatitis A is stool-contaminated food and water as a result of poor hygiene and local sanitation of the water supply. One of the most frequent scenarios whereby one can contract Hepatitis A would be eating food prepared by an infected person who did not was their hands.
In cases where Jaundice sets in, the whites of the eyes begin to turn yellow, it happens because the liver is unable purify the system and remove bilirubin from the body. It is not uncommon for your Urine to go a dark colour. Alerting your GP or local medical facility as soon as you are under the suspicion you may have Hepatitis A especially if you have just travelled to areas of the world like Africa, India or Pakistan.
Due to the prevention methods Hepatitis A is not considered one of the more serious of the set but can be onset as a result of other illnesses like Hepatitis C or Cirrhosis (scarring of the liver.) Others that might be more susceptible without vaccination are those that have previously been diagnosed with haemophilia, work and interact with primates or live in closed environments like shelters, hostels, barracks and student halls.
Vaccinations for Hepatitis A are very common and there are combinations that cover the inoculation of multiple hepatitis strains and more information is available upon consultation.
There are series of other ways that someone can contract Hepatitis A and more information can be found:
Hepatitis A Across the World
Regions where hepatitis A is common
Hepatitis A is found throughout the world but it’s common where sanitation is inconsistent, mostly across the following regions:
Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Falkland Islands, French Guiana, Guyana, Paraguay Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela
Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Cote d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Khemet (Modern day Egypt), Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe
Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.
Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, China, Georgia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, South Korea, North Korea, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lebanon, Macau, Malaysia Maldives, Mongolia, Nepal, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Yemen
How much does a Hepatitis A vaccinations cost?
The cost depends on which brand we recommend in your specific circumstances:
Hepatitis A Adult (Epaxal) £42 (per single dose)
Hepatitis A Child (Epaxal) £42 (per single dose)
Havrix Mono – Hepatitis A Adult 16 and above £50.00
Havrix Mono Junior – Hepatitis A (ages 1 to 15) £32.00
Hepatitis A and Typhoid (ViATIM) £87 (per single dose)
Hepatitis A and B Adult (Twinrix) £60 per dose
Hepatitis A and B Child under 16 yrs (Ambrix) £65 per dose
Want to book your Hepatitis A vaccination?
Would you simply like to explore the risks or find out more first? It’s really easy to book an appointment, either by phone or via our website. Just Call 0207 175 1802 and talk to a friendly, expert vaccination specialist.
Hepatitis A Prevention
Hepatitis A is preventable by simply following the simple rules of food preparation and basic hygiene that we’d take for granted in more developed areas of the world.
It would be recommended to:
- Ritualistically wash your hands, particularly after being outdoors and at meal times.
- Ensure all your food is thoroughly cooked and consume whilst hot. Food left at room temperature that’s served without being reheated is a hub for infection.
- Boil water, filter or treat water before consumption, beverages like tea, coffee, bottled and carton juices are usually safe.
- Avoid local Ice.
- Avoid raw any kind of raw food especially things like Sushi. Same applies with fruits and vegetables unless you know they’re from a safe source
Hepatitis A Treatment
As there is no officially accepted cure for Hepatitis A the best and recommended protocol is to make the infected as comfortable as possible while maintaining the highest levels of hygiene possible until the infection has passed. Plenty of rest is advised as fatigue is a common symptom. Most people that experience abdominal pains, headaches and nausea find that Paracetamol and ibuprofen are affect but it is important not to take too many as the liver will already be under strain and will have problems processing the by-product.
Those that contract Hepatitis A should seek to gain access via a doctor to Immunoglobulin, this type of treatment only tends to be effective if administered within fourteen days of the exposure.