Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is a viral liver disease that can cause mild to severe illness. The hepatitis A virus (HAV) is transmitted through ingestion of contaminated food and water or through direct contact with an infectious person. Almost everyone recovers fully from hepatitis A with a lifelong immunity. However, a very small proportion of people infected with hepatitis A could die from fulminant hepatitis. The risk of hepatitis A infection is associated with a lack of safe water, and poor sanitation and hygiene (such as dirty hands). Epidemics can be explosive and cause substantial economic loss. A safe and effective vaccine is available to prevent hepatitis A. Safe water supply, food safety, improved sanitation, hand washing and the hepatitis A vaccine are the most effective ways to combat the disease.

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