Hepatitis A virus (HAV), which causes inflammation of the liver, is excreted in the stool. The infection is usually caused by contaminated food (eg mussels from coastal waters, polluted with waste or contaminated drinking water). Even in close contact with already infected persons the faecal-oral transmission can occur (smear infection!).
The excretion of the stool is mainly due to the fact, that one to two weeks before the outbreak of the disease (jaundice), the stool of infected people contains in large quantities hepatitis A virus. In adults, the infection usually initially leads to unspecific symptoms such as general fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, headache, fever and finally yellowing of the skin and mucous membranes (especially visible on the conjunctiva), light stool and dark urine.
In most cases, the course of the disease is without complications. In some cases, however, complaints persist for several months. Severe courses can be observed in the case of predeceased persons (eg patients with chronic hepatitis B and C). In children, the infection often progresses without any significant signs of disease. After World War II, 80-90% of children and adolescents were infected.
Currently, the infection rate in the Federal Republic of Germany – in contrast to the situation in developing countries – is low at around 5%. As more and more adolescents and adults have no immunity to HAV, more and more diseases can be observed in these age groups. Hepatitis A has increasingly become a motion sickness.
There has already been a threat to travel around the Mediterranean and other popular travel destinations in Asia, Africa and Latin America.
Inoculation: Inactivated hepatitis A virus, also available in combination with hepatitis B.
Who should vaccinate?
- persons who are more at risk as a result of their professional activities (eg in medical facilities *, laboratories, day-care centers, orphanages, sewerage and sewage treatment workers, etc.),
- contact persons to patients with hepatitis A – here a “locking vaccine” is possible,
- persons who are expected to have a serious illness due to an existing liver disease,
- People who travel to regions with higher incidence.
- Gay active men
- Persons with compensatory haemophilia
- Persons in mental health institutions or comparable care facilities for cerebrally injured or behaviorally disturbed persons
* Personnel means medical and other specialist and nursing staff as well as kitchen and cleaning staff
Time of vaccination:
Vaccination is possible for children as young as two years. Primary vaccination before the risk of infection. For long-term vaccine protection, two vaccine doses are required every six months.
Frequent vaccination reactions: Very good tolerability in all age groups.