Hepatitis A

Medical Term: Hepatitis A

Danger Zone: Hepatitis A is common in Mexico, Central America, South America, Africa, Middle East, and Asia, but technically can occur anywhere.

Transmission: The hepatitis A virus is transmitted through the consumption of contaminated food or beverages.

What is it: Hepatitis A is an acute infection of the liver caused by the hepatitis A virus.

Symptoms: After a two to six week incubation period, symptoms of the disease include fatigue, nausea, stomach pain, and weakness.

Prevention: A hepatitis A vaccination is readily available, and travelers should be up-to-date on this one even if risk is low of contracting the disease. Check with a health care provider for more information.

Fatal: Hepatitis A is fatal in less than .5% of cases.

Hepatitis is a very common and very preventable disease that occurs among a higher number of travelers than the general population. Because of the availability of a hepatitis A vaccine, there is no reason to let the hepatitis A virus ruin your vacation. Consult your doctor to make sure you're protected against this infectious disease.

Hepatitis A is a transmitted by unsanitary foods and beverages. Being vigilant about what you consume in developing nations is always a great rule of thumb, but once you're vaccinated, Hepatitis A is one less thing to worry about. But health and safety never takes a vacation, even when you do. The food-borne illnesses of cholera and travelers diarrhea are the major areas of concern. Consult these articles, and the Center for Disease Control, to find out how you can keep your vacation adventures to the seeing the sights, rather than seeing the clinics.

Note: Always consult your doctor or another qualified medical professional for the best information about international travel vaccinations.

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