There has been a rise in new cases of Hepatitis A in England, according to Public Health England (PHE).  The most noticeable increase has been in MSM (Men who sleep with Men) who have visited Spain.  Numbers are small but rising.  However, it is the link between the cases that is causing PHE to worry.

Dr Michael Edelstein, Consultant Epidemiologist in the Hepatitis and Blood Safety Department, said: “Public Health England is aware of an increase in hepatitis A cases, where we believe the infection has been spread through sex, most cases occurring in gay and bisexual men.”

Hepatitis A is usually spread in dirty water containing faeces of someone who has Hepatitis A.  This can be spread if water has not been purified, or food has not be washed or prepared properly.  Someone eating or drinking the water would be at risk.

Hepatitis A can be sexually transmitted by couple where one member has performed oral sex in and around the anal area.

The symptoms of Hepatitis A can include:

  • vomiting/ nause
  • diarrhoea
  • weight loss
  • itchy skin
  • loss of appetite
  • mild flu-like symptoms

Washing hands before sex and using condoms can all help prevent infection.

There is also an effective vaccine against Hepatitis A.  One dose will give protection for 12 months.  A second dose within 6-12 months of the first dose will protect for 20 years.

If you are worried about Hepatitis A and want to have a test of a vaccine, please contact us on the number above.  We will be happy to help you.

 




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