Hepatitis A (HAV)

The disease

Hepatitis A is a serious liver disease caused by the hepatitis A virus (HAV). HAV is found in the stool of persons infected with hepatitis A. It is usually spread by close contact or sometimes by eating food or drinking water containing HAV. It can cause flu like symptoms, jaundice, severe stomach pain and diarrhea. 1 in 5 people with hepatitis A will need to be hospitalized and 3-5 out of 1000 people with hepatitis A will die from it.

The vaccine

The vaccine is given at 15 months with a booster dose at 2 years. The vaccine is also recommended for those traveling to countries with a high prevalence of hepatitis A infection. For travelers it is recommended getting the first dose of the vaccine at least 2 weeks before travel with a booster dose 6 -12 months later.

Side effects

  • Soreness, redness or swelling at the site of the injection
  • Headache
  • Decreased appetite

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