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New patient advice on avoiding hepatitis A infection

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A new leaflet highlighting the common causes of the highly infectious hepatitis A virus has been published to coincide with the summer holiday period.

The leaflet, which is free and been written by the charity the British Liver Trust, covers a range of topics related to the infection and the risk of contracting it.

“There are many countries where people are now travelling… where they may come into contact with the virus”

Andrew Langford

These include travel to areas where the virus is more common, injecting drugs, family and social contact high risk, unprotected sex, and work and environment.

The charity noted that it highly recommended that anyone at potential risk should be vaccinated for hepatitis A.

It also highlighted the need to avoid drinking untreated water – including ice cubes – and use bottled water to brush your teeth, and to avoid unpasteurised milk, cheese, ice cream and other dairy products, as well as any pre-prepared or under cooked foods.

In addition, it recommended practising good hygiene, having safer sex – by using a condom or a dental dam – and never sharing needles or snorting equipment for drugs or steroids.

Andrew Langford, chief executive of the British Liver Trust, said “Although relatively uncommon in the UK, there are many countries where people are now travelling, especially during this holiday period, where they may come into contact with the virus; either with someone who has the virus or through contaminated food or drink.”

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