Taking the hepatitis A vaccine is a safe and effective way to prevent hepatitis
A infection. Hepatitis A virus (HAV) infects the liver. Although hepatitis
A infection is not usually fatal, sudden (acute) infections in patients
with chronic liver disease can greatly increase their risk of death. Vaccination
is the best protection in preventing hepatitis A infection.
A virus causes acute liver disease in infected persons. Infrequently there
may be no signs or symptoms of disease. If symptoms are present they usually
occur suddenly and may include fever, tiredness, loss of appetite, nausea,
abdominal discomfort, and jaundice. Symptoms usually last less than two
months, but occasionally can last as long as six months.
A infection is commonly spread from person to person by putting something
in the mouth that has been contaminated with the stool of an infected
Intake of contaminated food or drinking water can therefore transmit the
Thus, an infected person who does not wash his/her hands after using the
and prepares food can transmit HAV.
the past, hepatitis A has occasionally been transmitted to persons with
through human-derived clotting factor. Today, testing of blood donors
hepatitis A infection and vigilent adherence to good manufacturing practice
to prevent the spread of hepatitis A infection through blood products.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) currently recommends
that children two years of age and older and anyone at
special risk for hepatitis A infection, including people with hemophilia,
should receive the vaccination series (two shots).
determine if you could benefit from hepatitis A vaccination, free blood
available through participation in CDC's Universal Data Collection program
offered by your hemophilia treatment center.
more information on each fact sheet or to locate a hemophilia treatment
center near you, contact NHF's information service, HANDI, at 800-42-HANDI