Hepatitis A is caused by infection with the hepatitis A virus (HAV) and it has an incubation period of approximately 28 days.
HAV infection is primarily transmitted by the faecal-oral route, by either person-to-person contact or consumption of contaminated food or water, and the virus can survive in the environment for prolonged periods of time.
Infections occur early in life in areas where sanitation is poor and living conditions are crowded. With improved sanitation and hygiene, infections are delayed and consequently the number of persons susceptible to the disease increases.
South Africa has pockets of high and low endemicity. Whether or not vaccination is required will depend on the traveller's country of origin, previous exposure to HAV and activities that are undertaken whilst in South Africa. Seek advice from your health care provider.
You are advised to visit your general practice surgery or a travel medicine clinic at least 6 weeks before you travel. However, it is never too late to seek advice.
If you have a medical condition, you are advised to discuss the suitability of the trip before you book.