This website requires cookies. Please accept or refuse these cookies first.
      For more info about our cookies, please read our cookies policy.

      Hepatitis A

      Latest update: - Authors: Ula Maniewski, Mieke Croughs

      Hepatitis A is also known as infectious jaundice. It is a liver infection that is caused by a virus.

      The following symptoms can occur several weeks after the infection:

      • fatigue
      • nausea
      • jaundice
      • sometimes fever
      • sometimes abdominal pain

      Most of the disease symptoms disappear after several weeks, but the fatigue can often persist for months. Young children generally experience few or no symptoms, but older people can suffer severe and prolonged illness. 

      The disease is transmitted via food, drinks or objects that have been contaminated by faeces from infected individuals.

      Hepatitis A is common in travellers. However, people who were born before 1950 are usually immune, because they had the disease as a child. If there is any doubt, a blood test can be performed to check for antibodies.

      Risk areas

      Hepatitis A occurs all over the world, but the risk of infection is higher in countries with a poor standard of hygiene. This is the case for most tropical and subtropical countries and a number of countries in Eastern Europe and surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. Belgian children get the infection regularly during family visits in Morocco.



      A safe and very effective vaccine is available.

      The vaccination consists of two injections administered at an interval of at least six months. 

      The first vaccination offers at least one year of protection, with lifelong protection following the second vaccination. 

      Please note that the combined hepatitis A and B vaccine contains a lower dose of hepatitis A. The vaccination plan for this vaccine consists of three doses, of which two must be administered before travelling. 

      For high-risk countries, vaccination is recommended for everyone who has not had the disease. For countries with a lower risk, vaccination is only recommended when staying in less hygienic conditions.

      In case of symptoms

      Seek medical advice if you suffer any symptoms.

      Additional information for doctors

      No connection? Don't worry.

      Download our free app and access all your travel information offline.

      Download Wanda app on Google Play Download Wanda app on App Store
      Download Wanda app on Google Play Download Wanda app on App Store
      Back to top