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Protect yourself and your family against Hepatitis A

Children with hepatitis A often don’t have symptoms but can pass the disease onto others who might get very sick. Read on to learn more about how you can protect yourself and your family against the disease when travelling.

  • Globally, approximately 1.4 million cases of hepatitis A are reported every year1
  • Compared to adults, young children are more likely to become infected with hepatitis A while travelling2
  • Immunisation is the best way to prevent you and your family from getting sick with hepatitis A3

What is hepatitis A?

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Hepatitis A is an infection of the liver caused by the hepatitis A virus. The virus is spread through contaminated food and water, as well as through close contact with people who are already infected4

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Not everyone who becomes infected with hepatitis A will become ill. Adults will show symptoms more often than children, who usually show mild or no symptoms5

Symptoms may include:5

  • Fever
  • Loss of apetite
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the eyes and skin)
  • Malaise (general feeling of illness)
  • Nausea

Who is at risk of getting hepatitis A?

Hepatitis A occurs in many countries around the world, although the risk of becoming infected is higher in certain regions. Even if you are travelling abroad back home to a familiar country to visit friends or relatives, you may underestimate your risk of getting hepatitis A. Anyone who has not been vaccinated against or previously infected with hepatitis A can catch the virus.2,5

Planning your family’s next big adventure or a trip back home?

We have an interactive world map which makes it quick and easy to check whether your chosen destination will put you at risk of hepatitis A

Compared to adults, young children are more likely to get infected with hepatitis A while travelling because they are less likely to wash their hands and can be prone to placing dirty objects and hands into their mouths.2

As children usually show few to no symptoms once infected, they can easily spread the virus between themselves and others. If you are on a trip abroad, this could mean that there is a risk of your friends or relatives becoming sick with hepatitis A during your visit, and you might also risk infecting other loved ones with hepatitis A when you return home.5

Visit this page for more resources, including a handy travel checklist, to help you prepare and plan for your next big trip.

How can I protect my family?

There are several things you can do to protect yourself and your family against hepatitis A whilst abroad:2

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Practice good hand hygiene

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Practice safe attitudes towards food and water

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Consider if you need to be vaccinated against hepatitis A before you travel

Immunisation is the best way to prevent hepatitis A and is recommended when travelling to at-risk countries2,3

Luckily, there are effective vaccines available against hepatitis A, including for children, meaning that you and your family can be protected when you travel. In most cases, hepatitis A immunisation is free of charge on the NHS if you are visiting at-risk countries.4,6

Where can I get more information?

If you think you and your family might need immunisation against hepatitis A before your next trip, contact your surgery, travel health practitioner or pharmacy for more information. For all you need to know about hepatitis A in one useful place, download/print this infographic.

It’s important to ensure you and your family are protected whether you are travelling abroad for the holiday of a lifetime or to visit relatives

If you are travelling abroad, you might be vulnerable to other diseases too – take a look at the rest of the resources on our site to check your risk before you travel.


1. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. Hepatitis A: How common is it? Available at: Accessed January 2023. 2. Fit For Travel. Hepatitis A. Available at: Accessed January 2023. 3. National Health Service. Hepatitis A. Available at: Accessed January 2023. 4. Travel Health Pro. Hepatitis A. Available at: Accessed January 2023. 5. World Health Organization. Hepatitis A. Available at: Accessed January 2023. 6. NHS Inform. Hepatitis A. Available at: Accessed: January 2023.

MAT-XU-2204888 (v1.0) | January 2023