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Hepatitis A-infections spreading among preschool children who travel abroad

Published söndag 23 juni 2013 kl 13.50
Children playing at a Stockholm preschool. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/Scanpix.

There has been an increase over the past year in the number of preschool children contracting hepatitis A during foreign holidays.

Doctors now urge parents to get their children vaccinated as the risk of the virus spreading grows over the summer.

"During the summer months many travel abroad and so it is important to get vaccinated if you are going to a country where [hepatitis A] exists, communicable disease specialist Per Follin told Swedish Radio News.

Hepatitis A spreads through food, polluted water or body contact. It can be difficult to detect the virus among children but they can transfer it to other children and adults, who usually suffer more serious symptoms than children.

"You can get an inflammation of the liver, which starts with general symptoms like nausea. You can then get yellow eyes and the liver can be affected," said Follin.

It is particularly advisable to get jabs before travelling to non-European countries, including in Asia, the Middle East, Africa and South America.

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