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Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is a liver infection caused by the Hepatitis A virus.

People who become sick with Hepatitis A usually have fever, loss of appetite, nausea and generally feel unwell. A few days later, their skin and the whites of their eyes may become a yellow colour - a condition called jaundice.

Occasionally, people will have no symptoms at all. Many infants and young children infected with Hepatitis A do not have any signs of illness. The disease can be more severe in adults.


How does it spread?

Hepatitis A is spread by the fecal-oral route, which means that feces (stool) must get from the infected person into the mouth of another person for infection to spread. This can happen by eating food or drinking water that has been contaminated with Hepatitis A, or by living in the same household or having sexual contact with an infected person.

Contamination also happens from eating improperly cooked shellfish.


About the vaccine

There are several vaccines available that protect against Hepatitis A. The vaccine must be prescribed by a health care provider and it may be publicly funded for some high risk individuals, but in most cases must be purchased at a pharmacy.

Some drug plans may cover the cost of the vaccine.


Resources

Hepatitis A - Fact Sheet

Hepatitis A Vaccine - Fact Sheet

Immune Globulin Admin Information for Primary Care Providers

Immune Globulin for Hepatitis A exposure

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