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Hepatitis A virus infection: Prevention

Authors
Sanjiv Chopra, MD, MACP
Michelle Lai, MD, MPH
Section Editors
Karin Leder, MBBS, FRACP, PhD, MPH, DTMH
Elizabeth B Rand, MD
Deputy Editor
Elinor L Baron, MD, DTMH

INTRODUCTION

Hepatitis A virus (HAV) infection is prevalent in many developing countries and is among the most common preventable infections acquired by travelers (figure 1). Tools for prevention of HAV infection include vaccination, immune globulin, and attention to hygienic practices.

Humans are the only known reservoir for hepatitis A virus; therefore, the virus could be eradicated with successful employment of widespread prevention strategies. Since hepatitis A vaccine became available in the United States in 1995, the rate of HAV infection has declined by 95 percent (figure 2).

Issues related to prevention of HAV are reviewed here. The epidemiology, clinical manifestations, diagnosis, and management of HAV infection are discussed separately. (See "Hepatitis A virus infection in adults: An overview".)

PROTECTION PRIOR TO EXPOSURE

Tools for prevention of hepatitis A virus (HAV) infection include vaccination, immune globulin, and attention to hygienic practices. Indications for pre-exposure protection and clinical approach are discussed in the following sections.

Indications — We are in agreement with recommendations issued by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which recommends protection (ideally vaccination) prior to potential hepatitis A exposure for the following individuals [1-4]:

              

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Literature review current through: Nov 2016. | This topic last updated: Wed Nov 02 00:00:00 GMT+00:00 2016.
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