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Prevention

There is a vaccination for hepatitis A. Vaccination can be given from the age of 2 years, and requires 2 doses, 6 months apart, with booster doses every 10 years. There are also combined hepatitis A and hepatitis B vaccinations available. The Australian Immunisation Handbook2 recommends hepatitis A vaccinations for:

  • travellers to endemic areas, which means many poorer countries
  • all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children between 18 months and six years of age in north Queensland
  • those working in rural and remote Indigenous communities
  • child day-care and pre-school personnel
  • the intellectually disabled and their carers
  • healthcare workers employed in pediatric wards, intensive care units and emergency departments that provide for substantial populations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and nursing and medical staff on rural and remote Indigenous communities
  • sewage workers
  • men who have sex with men
  • injecting drug users
  • patients with chronic liver disease of any aetiology
  • patients with haemophilia who may receive pooled plasma concentrates.

Good food handling and handwashing practices are also important to prevent the spread of hepatitis A. Always wash your hands with soap and water after going to the toilet and handling soiled linen and nappies. Always wash your hands before preparing food. If travelling in poorer countries, drink bottled water and avoid eating food that has been cleaned or prepared with contaminated water, and avoid having ice in drinks.

 

Because hepatitis D can only infect people who also have hepatitis B, both can be prevented through hepatitis B vaccination. For more information on vaccination for hepatitis B, see the prevention page in the hepatitis B section of this website.

Hepatitis D can be prevented by avoiding blood-to-blood contact. For more information on preventing blood-to-blood contact, check out the prevention page in the hepatitis C section of this website.

 

There is no vaccination yet available for hepatitis E in Australia, but in late 2011 a vaccination for hepatitis E had been developed in China.

Good food handling and handwashing practices are important to prevent the spread of hepatitis E. Always wash your hands with soap and water after going to the toilet and handling soiled linen and nappies. Always wash your hands before preparing food. If travelling in poorer countries, drink bottled water and avoid eating food that has been cleaned or prepared with contaminated water, and avoid having ice in drinks.