Epidemiology and Prevention of Hepatitis A in Travelers

Department of Gastroenterology, Shanghai Tenth People's Hospital, Tongji University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China.
Journal of Travel Medicine (Impact Factor: 1.58). 11/2013; 20(6):394-9. DOI: 10.1111/jtm.12058
Source: PubMed


Hepatitis A is the second most common vaccine-preventable travel-associated infectious disease and hepatitis A virus (HAV) is the most common cause of viral hepatitis. The incidence of infection is closely related to sanitary conditions and the level of economic development.
We evaluated HAV incidence, infection-related risk factors, and HAV vaccination rates in international travelers through retrospective analyses using major databases, such as CENTRAL, MEDLINE, EMBASE, and the current literature describing epidemiological data for HAV infection in recent years.
We found that the incidence of HAV infection in developed countries is very low. As international travel increases, the incidence of hepatitis A among travelers remains high and likely leads to regional outbreaks. Travelers should visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website or Infectious Disease Prevention Center of their countries to learn about the incidence of infectious diseases associated with their destination before going abroad to determine if they should be vaccinated.

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