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Increase in Hepatitis A in Europe (Update)

12 May 2017

Since June 2016 an outbreak of Hepatitis A has been spreading in Europe, with Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.  Since the start of the outbreak, 6784 cases, mostly men, have been reported. A large proportion of these cases have been men who have sex with men (MSM).  Travel to the European countries listed above has been common in those affected by the outbreak.

Hepatitis A is an infection of the liver caused by the hepatitis A virus. It is spread through contaminated water and food, especially shellfish or through person to person (including sexual) contact where personal hygiene is poor (faecal-oral route).

Advice for travellers

At-risk MSM should be vaccinated against Hepatitis A irrespective of whether they are travelling. Advice on maintaining good personal hygiene and taking care with food and drink should also be followed.