How can I avoid getting hepatitis A?
You can avoid getting hepatitis A by getting the
hepatitis A vaccine.
Vaccines are medicines that keep you from getting sick. Vaccines teach the
body to attack specific germs. The hepatitis A vaccine teaches your body to
attack the hepatitis A virus.
The hepatitis A vaccine is given through two shots. The second shot is given
6 to 12 months after the first shot. Both shots are needed to be fully protected
from the virus.
All children should be vaccinated and must be at least 12 months old to get
the first shot. Discuss the hepatitis A vaccine with your child's doctor.
Adults at higher risk of getting hepatitis A and people with chronic liver
disease should also be vaccinated.
If you are traveling to countries where hepatitis A is common, including
Mexico, try to get both shots before you go. If you don't have time to get both
shots before you travel, get the first shot as soon as possible. Most people
gain some protection within 2 weeks after the first shot.
You can also protect yourself and others from hepatitis A if you
What should I do if I think I have been exposed to the hepatitis A virus?
- always wash your hands with warm, soapy water after using the toilet or
changing diapers and before fixing food or eating
- use bottled water for drinking, making ice cubes, and washing fruits and
vegetables when you are in a developing country
See your doctor right away if you think you have been exposed to the
hepatitis A virus. A medicine called hepatitis A immune globulin may protect you
from getting sick if taken shortly after exposure to the hepatitis A virus.Hepatitis At A Glance
- Hepatitis A is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis A virus.
- Anyone can get hepatitis A, but some people are at higher risk.
- You could get hepatitis A through contact with an infected person's stool.
- Hepatitis A may cause mild, flulike symptoms.
- Hepatitis A usually gets better without treatment.
- You can protect yourself from getting hepatitis A by getting the hepatitis
- See your doctor right away if you think you've been exposed to the
hepatitis A virus