Its incidence is closely correlated with low socioeconomic status, lack of access to safe water and adequate environmental sanitation; when these indicators improve, the incidence of hepatitis A virus (HAV) infection decreases
This infection usually presents a benign and asymptomatic evolution, but exceptionally a severe and fulminant form can also develop, with high mortality rates.
No specific treatment is available, primary prevention measures are essential: provision of drinking water, adequate disposal of excreta, clean food, improvements in income level; However, like all high-inoculum viral infections, vaccination is the only method that confers long-term protection.
HAV has humans and primates as hosts. The transmission of this virus is carried out by:
• Person-to-person contact, commonly called fecal-oral transmission.
• Ingestion of contaminated food or water, which can cause outbreaks.
• Exposure to contaminated blood, which is much rarer and of lesser proportion.
Since 2005, Argentina incorporated vaccination against hepatitis A into the mandatory schedule for all boys and girls at 12 months of age with a single-dose strategy. The experience produced a great impact on the disease, marking the disappearance of annual epidemic outbreaks and associated complications, such as fulminant hepatitis and liver transplantation.
Symptoms: In childhood, most cases occur asymptomatically (70% in children under six years of age. Adults present signs and symptoms more frequently than In fact, the severity and mortality of the disease increase with age.
The risk groups that should receive the hepatitis A vaccine are:
• Travelers to areas of high or medium endemicity
• Infants between 6-11 months who travel to risk areas (do not count as part of the scheme)
• Patients with chronic liver disease. These patients are at risk of developing hepatitis A with greater morbidity than in the general population.
• Drug addicts.
• Homosexual and bisexual men.
• Occupational risk.
• HIV positive people.
• Immunocompromised hosts, in general.
• Pregnant women with risk factors.