Hepatitis A

Transmission and prevention

The virus can be transmitted through food and drink which is contaminated with human faeces, but can also be transmitted from person to person.

Hepatitis A is excreted in faeces for around a week, before someone develops symptoms. It takes an average of four weeks for someone to develop symptoms after they have been exposed to the virus.

In Europe, hepatitis A breaks out sporadically in localised areas, usually through contaminated food in shared facilities.

People who are most at risk of hepatitis A are: people who travel to developing countries, or people who live in areas where hepatitis A is common; partners and family members of people who have the infection; people who have many sexual partners; childcare workers, who are dealing with soiled nappies, and sewage workers.

There is a vaccination against hepatitis A. Vaccination is especially recommended for people who are at high risk of acquiring hepatitis A. It is also recommended for anyone at groups who are at high risk of complications if they become infected with hepatitis A: the elderly and people with existing liver disease.

This information is provided by Deutsche Leberhilfe e.V.