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Hepatitis A is highly contagious, short term liver infection caused by the hepatitis A virus.
The virus is found in the blood and poo of people when they are infected. If infected poo enters water supplies, then people who are drinking, swimming or washing in the water will get infected. If you eat fruit and vegetables washed in this water, you will catch the infection.
If people with hepatitis A cannot wash their hands after going to the toilet, they will transfer the virus to their hands and then to other objects or people that they touch. This can spread the infection.
Young children are at increased chance of catching hepatitis A during travel because they tend to put objects and their unclean hands in their mouth.
Hepatitis A occurs worldwide, mostly in countries where hygiene and sanitation is poor.
The most common symptoms include are fever, nausea, vommiting, upset stomach, diarrhoea, yellowing of skin and eyes
For most people, symptoms usually clear up completely within a few days to weeks without causing any long term liver damage.
Rarely some people might go on to develop more serious symptoms which can cause the liver to stop functioning properly (liver failure).
People who recover from hepatitis A illness will develop lifelong immunity meaning they cannot catch it again.
Vaccination against hepatitis A is recommended for all people travelling to countries where the risk of hepatitis A is high
Two doses of a hepatitis A containing vaccine are usually needed to develop long term protection against hepatitis A virus.