There are a few different types of Hepatitis out there, but today we are going to spend time addressing Hepatitis A (Hep A). Learning the difference between Hep A, B, and C is crucial because the treatment and symptoms are different. Read on to learn more about what Hep A is, its symptoms, and the vaccine that protects against it.
What is Hepatitis A?
- A viral infection is transmitted by contaminated food and water.
Who is at risk for getting Hep A?
- International travelers
- Some restaurants
- Daycare centers
What are the symptoms?
- Loss of appetite
- Jaundice (yellowing of the eyes and skin)
Unfortunately, some people do not develop any symptoms. The virus can last for up to four months.
Is there a vaccine and is it safe?
- Yes and Yes!
- Children inoculated with the Hep A vaccine become immune and won’t get hepatitis A in the future. Because the virus in the vaccine is not live, they can not get hepatitis A from the vaccine.
- About five to 10 of every 100 children given the Hep A vaccine will have pain, warmth, or swelling where the shot was given and about five of every 100 will have a headache.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all children receive two vaccine doses to prevent hepatitis A.