Hepatitis A Prevention
- What It Is
- Risk Factors
- Living With
- User Questions
- Alternative Treatment
- Care Guide
- Questions for Your Doctor
- When to Contact a Doctor
- Find a Doctor
- Resource Guide
How to Prevent Hepatitis A
Proper Sanitary Habits
- Wash your hands with soap and water. This is very important after using the bathroom or changing a diaper.
- Wash your hands with soap and water before eating or preparing food.
- Avoid using household utensils that a person with hepatitis A may touch.
- Make sure all household utensils are carefully cleaned
- Avoid sexual contact with a person with hepatitis A.
- Avoid injected drug use. If you do, do not share needles.
- If you travel to a high risk region, take the following precautions:
- Drink bottled water
- Avoid ice chips
- Wash the fruits well
- Eat well-cooked food
Vaccination or Immune (Gamma) Globulin
This contains antibodies that provides temporary protection from hepatitis A. It can last about 1-3 months. It must be given before exposure to the virus or within two weeks after exposure.
Hepatitis A Vaccine
This vaccine is made from inactive hepatitis A virus. It is highly effective in preventing infection. It provides full protection four weeks after the first injection. A second injection provides protection lasting up to 20 years.
The vaccine is also used after exposure. If given within two weeks, it can prevent disease.
The vaccine is recommended for:
- All children aged 12 months
- Children aged 12 months or older in high-risk areas
- People traveling to areas where hepatitis A is prevalent
- People who have anal sex
- Drug users
- People with chronic liver disease
- People with blood-clotting disorders, like hemophilia
- Children who live in areas where hepatitis A is prevalent
- People who will have close contact with an adopted child from a medium- or high-risk area
Check with your doctor to see if you should receive the vaccine.