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Combination of hepatitis A and B (Twinrix®)

The hepatitis A virus (HAV) is spread by direct or indirect contact with the stool of an infected person. Hepatitis is most often acquired following ingestion of water, food, especially shellfish (e.g., mussels, oysters) raw or undercooked, or fluids contaminated by the stools of a infected person. It can also be acquired during sex. Asymptomatic people with hepatitis A can also pass the infection on.

It can take 6 weeks to 6 months between the virus entering the body and the onset of symptoms: fever, nausea, vomiting, abdominal discomfort, jaundice. In almost half of those affected, the infection goes unnoticed. Most people get well on their own.

The main preventive measures other than vaccination are:

  • frequent hand washing, especially before handling food and after sex;
  • disinfection of objects soiled with stool;
  • not consuming potentially contaminated food and water.

HBV is spread through the blood, semen or vaginal fluids of an infected person. You can get this virus:

  • during sex with an infected person;
  • by contact through the skin with the blood of an infected person (eg, prick with a needle soiled with blood, sharing of syringes, needles or razor);
  • by contact between a mucous membrane and the blood of an infected person (eg, blood splatter in an eye, nose or mouth).

An infected pregnant woman can pass the virus to her baby at birth.

Travelers requiring injections or blood products in certain developing countries may be exposed to this virus.

It can take 6 weeks to 6 months between the virus entering the body and the onset of symptoms: fever, nausea, vomiting, abdominal discomfort, jaundice. In almost half of those affected, the infection goes unnoticed. Most people get well on their own.

However, about 1 in 10 adults remain infected with the virus for varying periods of time. People with a chronic infection are at risk of developing chronic liver disease such as cirrhosis.

Infected people, symptomatic or not, are contagious for several weeks. Once the infection is gone, they can no longer transmit the disease. However, people with a chronic infection can transmit the disease.

The main preventive measures other than vaccination are:

  • practicing basic hygiene measures, including not sharing personal items (razor, toothbrush) and washing hands when they are soiled with blood;
  • adopting safer sexual behavior, including reducing the number of sex partners and using a condom during sex;
  • failure to share needles and syringes.

DIN: 02230578 (dose adulte)
DIN: 02237548 (dose junior)

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