Hepatitis A

What is hepatitis?

Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver. There are many different causes, and a distinction must be made between infectious and non-infectious causes. Infectious causes are often viruses or bacteria, but parasites and fungi are also possible. Hepatitis A and B are common viral-causing diseases of the liver and can be prevented by getting vaccinated. Hepatitis A and B can manifest as fever, malaise, jaundice and nausea.

Hepatitis A is transmitted primarily through contaminated food and water or through direct contact with an infectious person. Children infected with hepatitis A do not show any symptoms in most cases. However, adults generally do show symptoms and often have to be hospitalized.

Hepatitis B is transmitted through contact with body fluids (blood, sexual intercourse, etc.). Although symptoms do not necessarily occur with hepatitis B, chronic progressions are possible, which are difficult to treat. Chronic hepatitis B often leads to scarring of the liver (cirrhosis).


In which countries does infectious hepatitis occur?

Hepatitis A occurs worldwide, but is more common in countries with poor sanitary conditions. Hepatitis B is also common worldwide, but is most prevalent in countries in Asia, the Middle East, Africa and parts of the Americas.

When and how often should I be vaccinated against hepatitis A and B?

Hepatitis A vaccination is recommended for all persons planning to travel outside of Western Europe and North America. Depending on the vaccine administered, a single vaccination dose may be sufficient for protection during the trip. However, long-lasting protection is acquired only after the 2nd dose.

Hepatitis B is recommended worldwide, including Switzerland. Two to three vaccinations are required for lifelong protection, depending on age.

45-75 CHF per dose
plus consultation and injection fee

What else should I know about the hepatitis A and B vaccines?

  • The hepatitis B vaccination also protects against hepatitis D. Protection against hepatitis D exists because the virus that causes it in humans is dependent on the hepatitis B virus.

  • If you have grown up in a hepatitis A endemic country, you have usually already had jaundice as a child. Once you have had the disease, it protects you for life. If you are not sure whether you have had the disease in childhood or not, you can have your antibodies tested.

  • Further information on hepatitis A and B can be found on the website of the FOPH: (Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B) or at HealthyTravel.

Do you have a question or would you like to book an appointment?