Hepatitis A is a viral disease which is transmitted fecally and orally. Two thirds of the patients are people returning from vacations in Southern countries (lack of hygienic installations). In Southern countries the degree of the epidemic is high, the course of hepatitis there is generally oligo- or asymptomatic (in other words with very few or no symptoms).
In Germany during the early fifties 80-90 % of adolescents and children contracted Hepatitis A. As a result of improved hygiene the epidemic diminished continuously. Today the assumption in Germany is that there are approx. 50000 Hepatitis A contacts, but only 5000 of them are reported every year (because the course of the disease has so few symptoms).
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