Hepatitis A infection during pregnancy.


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Abstract

OBJECTIVEMany of my patients are from Southeast Asia, where hepatitis A virus (HAV) infection is quite common. What precautions can I suggest my pregnant patients take before traveling to these areas and what is the risk of contracting HAV during pregnancy?CONCLUSIONSHepatitis A virus is a water-borne pathogen transmitted by the fecal-oral route. To reduce the risk of contracting HAV while traveling to endemic areas, it is important to maintain hygienic practices such as hand washing with safe water, particularly before handling food, avoiding drinking water or using ice cubes of unknown purity, and avoiding eating unpeeled fruits and vegetables. An HAV vaccine is available and can be administered before traveling to endemic countries. Hepatitis A virus infection has a largely favourable expected outcome even during pregnancy. Infection occurring in the second or third trimester has been reported to be associated with preterm labour.

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