Hepatitis A is an acute hepatitis (it lasts for several days or weeks and then the body clears itself of the virus spontaneously).
It rarely causes serious damage to the liver and is not a chronic (on-going, long-term) disease.
Prevention is better than cure…. But how can you protect yourself?
The hepatitis A virus is found in the faeces of infected people. It is spread by faecal-oral (or stool to mouth) transmission.
- eating food which could have been in contact with the virus ( poor hygiene, dirty hands for example)
- drinking dirty water
- anal-oral sex (anilingus)
Travelling or living in countries with a high prevalence: before travelling you should always check which vaccines are recommended in your destination, you can check on the ministry of health website (www.sante.gouv.fr
) or the Sanitary surveillance institute website www.invs.sante.fr
) The higher the prevalence, the greater the risk.
There is an effective vaccine against hepatitis A.
It is particularly recommended for:
- people who are infected with hepatitis B and/ or C
- people who are HIV positive
- male homosexuals
- people suffering from chronic liver disease.