Despite progress in sanitation and hygiene, hepatitis A occurs sporadically and in epidemics worldwide, with a tendency for cyclic recurrences. The disease can lead to significant economic and social consequences in communities. The impact on food establishments identified with the virus, and local productivity in general, can be substantial.
In developing countries with poor sanitary conditions and hygienic practices, most children (90%) have been infected with the hepatitis A virus before the age of 10 years (1)
Did You Know?
The hepatitis A virus is transmitted through ingestion of contaminated food and water or through direct contact with an infectious person
Approximately 1.4 million cases are reported each year (1)
Symptoms and Treatment
- Hepatitis A is often asymptomatic in young children, and more severe in adults. After an incubation period of 14 to 28 days, the onset of the disease is marked by a sensation of generalized malaise including, fever, headache, muscle soreness, fatigue, and gastrointestinal disorders. It is often accompanied by jaundice, particularly in adults 3.
- The condition may be long-lasting, with an acute phase of approximately one month and a convalescence phase of up to six months.
- No specific treatment is available.
- There are vaccines available for Hepatitis A.
- a ST. Hepatitis A virus seroprevalence by age and world region, 1990 and 2005. Vaccine 28 (2010) 6653–6657.
- WHO. Hepatitis A. Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals, 2015; Accessed January 2018. http://www.who.int/immunization/diseases/hepatitisA/en/
- WHO. Hepatitis A Fact sheet. Revised July 2017, accessed January 2018. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs328/en/