Hepatitis A: disease, epidemiology and control
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Hepatitis A: disease, epidemiology and control

Gladys Xavier Public Health Infection Control Nurse Specialist, Redbridge and Waltham Forest Health Authority

Gladys Xavier discusses the aetiology of hepatitis A and advises on precautionary measures for travellers to areas of moderate or high HAV endemicity, particularly in countries where water may be faecally contaminated or sanitation and food hygiene are poor

Aims and intended learning outcomes

The aim of this article is to discuss the general characteristics of the hepatitis A virus (HAV), disease, transmission, epidemiology and control methods.

After reading this article you should be able to:

Describe the general characteristics of the hepatitis A virus

Describe the routes of transmission

Describe the disease process

Compare the global incidence of hepatitis A with the incidence in England and Wales

Describe control methods for an outbreak of hepatitis A in the community

Understand the rationale for using hepatitis A vaccination and the use of human normal immunoglobulin (HNIG).

Discuss the role of the primary health care team in managing cases of hepatitis A in the community.

Primary Health Care. 9, 3,31-35. doi: 10.7748/phc1999.04.9.3.31.c640