Hepatitis A on the increase in Europe
8 May 2017
According to the latest European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) assessment, the ongoing hepatitis A outbreak in Europe is not yet contained and more cases are to be expected, with 675 cases confirmed between June 2016 and 28 April 2017. Since February this year, 387 new cases have been reported from 10 countries – Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden and the UK.
Hepatitis A is a vaccine-preventable viral disease that is passed on to humans by faecally contaminated food and water, or by handling everyday items, and poses a significant risk to travellers heading to developing countries where sanitation and hygiene are lacking. A course of hepatitis A vaccine is recommended, which offers immunity that is more than 99-per-cent effective and protects for 20 to 30 years.