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Hepatitis A: Prevention

Infectious liver disease, spread primarily through the fecal-oral route, caused by the hepatitis A virus; now preventable by vaccine. Most people recover and the infection does not become chronic. NIH - National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases and National Library of Medicine

About Hepatitis A Prevention

The hepatitis A vaccine offers immunity to adults and children older than age 1. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends routine hepatitis A vaccination for children aged 12 to 23 months and for adults who are at high risk for infection.

Treatment with immune globulin can provide short-term immunity to hepatitis A when given before exposure or within 2 weeks of exposure to the virus.

Avoiding tap water when traveling internationally and practicing good hygiene and sanitation also help prevent hepatitis A. NIH - National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Infection: Prevention and Control of Healthcare-Associated Infections in Primary and Community Care: Partial Update of NICE Clinical Guideline 2

Since the publication of the NICE clinical guideline on the prevention of healthcare-associated infections (HCAI) in primary and community care in 2003, many changes have occurred within the NHS that place the patient firmly at the centre of all activities. First, the NHS Constitution for England defines the rights and pledges that every patient can expect regarding their care. To support this, the Care Quality Commission (CQC), the independent regulator of all health and adult social care in England, ensures that health and social care is safe, and monitors how providers comply with established standards. In addition, the legal framework that underpins the guidance has changed since 2003.

Effectiveness of immune globulins in preventing infectious hepatitis and hepatitis A: a systematic review

This review assessed the efficacy and safety of immune globulins in preventing infectious hepatitis and hepatitis A. The authors concluded that given the limitations of the evidence, immune globulins should only be used where there are inadequate supplies of the vaccine, or after the 8-day window of opportunity for vaccination is past. The studies were generally of a poor quality and the authors' conclusions reflect the limited evidence.

Immunoglobulins (human serum immune gamma globulins) seem effective for prevention of hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is a common, contagious viral disease in low‐income countries. Hepatitis A is transmitted primarily by faecal‐oral spread from person to person. Passive immunoprophylaxis for hepatitis A using immunoglobulin preparations were essential for prevention before development of specific hepatitis A vaccine (active immunisation). This review concludes that immunoglobulins seem effective for preventing hepatitis A in both children and adults. However, the evidence, on which the conclusion is based, is not strong as the included trials appear to have risk of bias and their number is insufficient. Because there is a potential risk of blood‐borne diseases from immunoglobulins preparations, such as human immunodeficiency virus, and because of the availability of hepatitis A vaccine, the use of immunoglobulins has become limited. However, their use is still required in some specific populations, such as persons with compromised immune function, children under one year of age, or persons who have not developed a full response to vaccine immunisation. Future clinical trials should address the benefit and harm of immunoglobulins in these populations.

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Summaries for consumers

Immunoglobulins (human serum immune gamma globulins) seem effective for prevention of hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is a common, contagious viral disease in low‐income countries. Hepatitis A is transmitted primarily by faecal‐oral spread from person to person. Passive immunoprophylaxis for hepatitis A using immunoglobulin preparations were essential for prevention before development of specific hepatitis A vaccine (active immunisation). This review concludes that immunoglobulins seem effective for preventing hepatitis A in both children and adults. However, the evidence, on which the conclusion is based, is not strong as the included trials appear to have risk of bias and their number is insufficient. Because there is a potential risk of blood‐borne diseases from immunoglobulins preparations, such as human immunodeficiency virus, and because of the availability of hepatitis A vaccine, the use of immunoglobulins has become limited. However, their use is still required in some specific populations, such as persons with compromised immune function, children under one year of age, or persons who have not developed a full response to vaccine immunisation. Future clinical trials should address the benefit and harm of immunoglobulins in these populations.

Testing for the Hepatitis C Virus: Why Testing May Be Important for You

This summary will cover: What hepatitis C is and how it can be harmful Who is at risk for hepatitis C What hepatitis C testing is Who should be tested for hepatitis C

Treating Chronic Hepatitis C: A Review of the Research for Adults

This summary will discuss treatment options for chronic hepatitis C. It will tell you about research on how well medicines for chronic hepatitis C work. It will also tell you about research on the side effects of these medicines. It does not discuss screening and diagnosis of hepatitis C. This summary can help you talk with your doctor about which treatment might be best for you.

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More about Hepatitis A: Prevention

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Also called: Hep A

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Hepatitis A Vaccine

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