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Hepatitis A

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Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is an infection of the liver caused by the hepatitis A virus. It is contracted via the excrement of an infected person and is, therefore, usually spread through drinking water or eating food contaminated by human waste or sewage. Also, it can be spread from person to person by those with poor hygiene that handle and prepare food. Therefore, you are at greater risk if you are travelling to countries with poor sanitation, such as parts of Africa, the Indian subcontinent, the Far East, the Middle East, and Central and South America.

There is an increased risk of contracting hepatitis A if you inject drugs using contaminated equipment or have sex with someone who already has hepatitis A (this is a particular risk for men who have sex with other men).

Hepatitis A is not usually serious and most people make a full recovery after a few months with no long-term effects and once it passes will often have lifelong immunity to it. Hepatitis A is only life-threatening, with a risk of liver failure, in rare cases and usually occurs in those of advanced age with a pre-existing liver condition.



The incubation period of hepatitis A is generally around 28 days. However, it can be up to 50 days.


Symptoms are often mild or non-existent in young children. Hepatitis A tends to show increasingly serious symptoms with advancing age. The symptoms that may appear after the incubation period include:


  • joint and muscle pain
  • loss of appetite
  • feeling nauseous
  • vomiting
  • pain in the upper right part of your tummy
  • feeling generally unwell and lethargic
  • a raised temperature
  • yellowing of the eyes and skin (jaundice)
  • itchy skin
  • dark urine and pale poo



Hepatitis A can typically be diagnosed through a blood test. However, there is no specific treatment for hepatitis A as the symptoms usually subside after a few months. However, if needed, prescriptions can be made to help alleviate some of the more uncomfortable symptoms, such as itchiness, nausea and vomiting.


Prevention & Vaccination


Vaccination gives a high level of protection against contracting hepatitis A infection. The vaccination should ideally be administered two weeks before your travel departure date. However, if needed, it can be given up to a day before departure. A complete course of vaccination lasts up to 25 years. Extra doses of the vaccine are often recommended after 6 to 12 months if you need long-term protection. Combined vaccination doses may vary, so it is highly recommended that you discuss with our experts for further advice.


The needle used for the vaccination is very fine and may elicit only mild discomfort. However, after the vaccination has been administered you may experience some soreness, redness and hardening of the skin at the injection site or a small, painless lump that quickly disappears.


During your consultation with an Ahmeys travel health practitioner, you will undertake a travel risk assessment based on your itinerary and travel plans. Our expert practitioners are also well placed to discuss and assess the risks versus the benefits of vaccination of those who are pregnant or who suffer from certain allergies. Our aim is for you to leave your consultation feeling confident and fully informed.

Faheem Ahmed

Have Questions?

Our clinicians would be more than happy to help.

Either give us a call on 01865 689 149 or book online.

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Book a Consultation

Providing NHS services

How to Find Us

Visit us at:
158 Oxford Road
Cowley, Oxford, OX4 2LA
Contact us at:
[email protected]
01865 689 149

Join over 1000's of patients who choose Ahmey's

Jackie Nakate
Jackie Nakate
professional and lovely staff. The staff was super helpful and also called just to make sure I got my results without any mistakes.
Dimitris Kolokouris
Dimitris Kolokouris
Went for a fit to fly PCR test. The staff were incredibly polite and helpful. They took special care to get my flight credentials correct and had my test result to me within less than a day. They guarantee to get your result the next day (even over weekends). Overall good service, I would recommend.
Margherita Davoli
Margherita Davoli
I went today for a covid rapid- antigen test for travelling. Excellent service, they also gave me a pdf with the certificate for travelling, both paper and via email.
Elena Razzano
Elena Razzano
I went to the clinic for a Covid Swab test: the nurse has been very professional and careful, the service has been perfect, fast and the certificate compliant for the fit to fly. I highly recommend this service and I will definitely use it again.
Aloise Fiala-Murphy
Aloise Fiala-Murphy
Very good service, just did a PCR test for travelling. Helpful, on time and easy.
Susanne Mecklenburg
Susanne Mecklenburg
Super service, competent, friendly, quick turn around of the results - really helpful. I can recommend it!
Michael Chipeta
Michael Chipeta
Had Covid-19 fit to fly test. Results came promptly, in record time. Impressed with the service.
Shengpan Zhang
Shengpan Zhang
Excellent service, very friendly and reliable
Kan Li
Kan Li
Excellent people to work with! Great service, prompt communication, flexible schedule, and very reasonable price. 100/100 recommend for all kinds of fit-for-travel testing.