The most effective way to prevent hepatitis A is to get vaccinated. Kids should get the vaccination around their first birthday. You can contract hepatitis A if you eat food or drink water which contains hepatitis A virus in it. Hepatitis A also gets spread if you come in close contact with people who are suffering from hepatitis A or have a sexual relationship with an infected person.
Vaccinations for Hepatitis A:
Two types of vaccines are available – Vaqta and Havrix. Both of them require two injections which need to be administered within six months of gap. A combined vaccine is also available for HAV and HBV virus named Twinrix.
Who should get the Hepatitis A Vaccination?
Hepatitis A vaccination is recommended for people in the following circumstances:
Children and adults who are traveling to countries with high prevalence of hepatitis A
A person who has come in direct contact with a person who is infected with hepatitis A
A person who is using street drugs
A person suffering from chronic liver diseases like hepatitis B and hepatitis C
Males who develop sexual relations with males
Children and adolescents who get vaccinated in routine because of the high disease rate
People who are getting treated with clotting factor drugs
Are there any side effects of Hepatitis A Vaccination?
Hepatitis vaccine is very effective. It is observed that more than 99% of people who get them vaccinated with hepatitis A vaccine develop immunity against the hepatitis A virus and never gets hepatitis A virus when exposed to it. There is a side effect of hepatitis A vaccination, soreness occurs at the injection site and has mild flu-like symptoms.
Prevention against Hepatitis A:
In case you are not vaccinated against hepatitis A virus then following are few measures that can help you to prevent hepatitis A infection:
Do not eat undercooked or raw shellfish
Always wash your hands properly with soap and water after using the bathroom or after changing the diaper, before preparing meal or food and before eating food
Do not use water which is contaminated with fecal matter