risk of hepatitis A virus for travellers

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Hepatitis A is one of the most common vaccine preventable diseases faced by the traveller (1). The risk of contracting the disease by a non immune traveller is increased during visits to countries of high or intermediate endemicity (1)

  • according to a study done in 2006 incidence of hepatitis A amongst non-immune travellers were between six and 30 cases per 100,000 travellers per month
  • overseas tours is a common factor in sporadic cases in the UK (2)
  • for UK travellers the risk of acquiring the disease is higher when visiting countries in the Indian subcontinent, Latin America and Africa but the risk may extend to Eastern Europe as well (1,2)

The risk of acquiring the disease relies on factors like living conditions, length of stay and standards of food and water hygiene in the visiting country (1). People who are at a higher risk include:

  • travellers visiting friends and relatives
  • long-term travellers
  • those visiting areas of poor sanitation (1)

Out breaks in child care settings may occur when children in the institute are exposed to a child who acquired hepatitis A while visiting the countries of their parent's birth (3)

Reference:

Last edited 04/2019