There are media reports of an increase in cases of hepatitis A in the Antofagasta region of Chile. Seventy four people are suspected of having been infected through consumption of street food from unauthorized vendors. The suspect priducts include pizza, grilled beef and arepas, a kind of cornmeal roll.
Advice for Travellers
Vaccination is recommended if you are visiting areas where drinking water may be unsafe and where hygiene and sanitation is poor. There are various brands of hepatitis A vaccine available: Avaxim, Havrix Monodose, Havrix Junior Monodose and Vaqta Paediatric.
Hepatitis A vaccine is also available in a preparation that combines it with hepatitis B vaccine: Ambirix, Twinrix and Twinrix Paediatric and a preparation that combines it with typhoid vaccine: Hepatyrix and ViATIM.
Prevention is focused on ensuring that food and water are safe. Avoidance of foodstuffs such as shellfish, salads, unwashed fruit and vegetables and raw or undercooked meat products are essential.
Good personal hygiene is also very important. Individuals should ensure that they wash their hands prior to eating and after using the bathroom.
For further information see Hepatitis A