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What is Hepatitis A? Why get a Hepatitis A vaccination?

Hepatitis A is a disease caused by a virus that causes an infection of the liver. It causes flu like symptoms, stomach pain and jaundice. Most people recover in approximately 4 weeks, however symptoms can last up to 12 months. The Hepatitis A vaccination can help prevent it.

How is it spread?

Hepatitis A is spread through consumption of contaminated food, (especially avoid raw shellfish) and/or drinking contaminated water; it can also be transmitted from person to person and through blood.


Where is it found?

Hepatitis A virus is most common in developing countries such as Mexico, Central or South America, Asia, Africa and India; 85 % of travel related cases were associated with travel to such places.  The risk is higher in rural areas, trek in the back country or places were sanitation is poor.

Although the risk is greater in rural areas, travelers should use caution in all inclusive and resort vacations.  Wash hands regularly with soap and water, drink bottled beverages, avoid ice-cubes in drinks, eat well-cooked foods, avoid shellfish and salads, choose fruits you peel yourself, and avoid street vendors for food.

What can you do to protect yourself?

Hepatitis A is one of the most common vaccine-preventable infections that travelers acquire.  Prevention is your best protection.  One dose of hepatitis A vaccine can provide effective short-term protection for upcoming travel. A booster dose of the vaccine should be given 6 months – 1 year later for life long protection.

Nova Travel Clinic also carries a combined vaccine called Twinrix  to protect you against both hepatitis A and B.   The vaccine is available as a standard series given in 3 doses, or for last minute travelers as an accelerated series given in 4 doses.  For the standard dosing you will require the first two doses of twinrix for protection for your upcoming trip; the third dose will provide lifetime immunity.

Forgot to complete your Twinrix or hepatitis A or B series?

It is important to get all doses of your series for full protection against hepatitis A and B.  Contact us to complete today!


 Vaccine is recommended for those WHO…

  • Are travelling to an international destination
  • People who have chronic liver disease
  • Work in the health care field
  • People who work in the food industry
  • Have a compromised immune system
  • Will be working abroad, even if for a short period of time.

*Book your appointment with a travel nurse before your next vacation to see which vaccine is right for you and to be fully prepared for a safe and healthy trip.

The map below indicates high to low risk areas for hepatitis A


For Further Information Please see Travel Health

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