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Question
Posted by: Tania | 2005/01/13

Hepaptitis A

I'm 35 weeks pregnant as just discovered that my colleague has Hepatitis A. How contageous is this and will it cross over to my baby?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageGynaeDoc

Hepatitis A is transmitted by the oral-fecal route (such as from contaminated water or diapers, for example).
If a newborn is exposed, the infection is usually mild and they will have a lifelong immunity to the disease.

If a pregnant woman is exposed (such as when traveling or by contact with known carriers) she will be given immune gamma globulin (IG) to help protect her from getting the disease. The effect on the baby would be mild.

Best wishes

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2
Our users say:
Posted by: Belle | 2005/01/13

Hi Tanya

I had hepatitis last year and it is very contageous in the right conditions. It cannot be passed on like flu or a cold. It is passed on by the infected person not washing their hands after going to the toilet and then you have to put something they have touched or used into your mouth (food, utensil etc). The incubation time is 18 -56 days with the average being 28 days. It is contageous from a few days before the symptoms start to 6 weeks after the symptoms first appear. While I had it a mom that was pregnant from my kids school also had it. She was given antibiotics and told not to come into contact with other people. Her baby was not at risk but I'm not sure how far along she was so I don't know what the risk to your baby would be if you got it. As you know a virus can have different effects depending on how far along you are. There is a vaccine against Hepatitis A though I don't know if it can be given during pregnancy. The best is to contact your doctor as soon as possible, tell him you have been exposed and ask if you can have the vaccine.

Reply to Belle
Posted by: cruz | 2005/01/13

As fas as I know it is contageous, but check with your gynie first.

Reply to cruz

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