Hepatitis A

  • Generally mild, but severity tends to increase with age
  • Asymptomatic disease is common in children
  • Jaundice may occur in 70-80% of those infected as adults
  • The overall case-fatality ratio is low but greater in older patients and those with pre existing liver disease
  • the highest risk areas for UK travellers are the Indian subcontinent and the Far East, but the risk extends to Eastern Europe
  • Transmitted by the fecal-oral route through person-to-person spread or contaminated food or drink
  • Foodborne outbreaks have been reported following ingestion of certain shellfish (bivalve mollusks such as mussels, oysters and clams which feed by filtering large volumes of sewage polluted waters)