Hepatitis A

What is Hepatitis A?

Hepatitis A is a very contagious disease of the liver caused by the Hepatitis A virus. Hepatitis A virus is found in the bowel movements (stool) of people infected with the virus.

People with Hepatitis A that do not wash their hands properly can spread the virus when making food or other forms of hand to mouth contact. It can also be spread through water that has been in contact with sewage contaminated with the Hepatitis A virus; through sexual contact or sharing of equipment used in illegal drug use such as pipes or needles.

What are the symptoms of Hepatitis A?

Symptoms are often mild, especially in children. Common symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Tiredness
  • Stomach ache
  • Nausea
  • Yellow skin or eyes

What are the risks of Hepatitis A ?

Most people recover from Hepatitis A disease. For every 1,000 people infected, one to three will die. The death rate is higher in people over 50 years of age.

How can I prevent getting Hepatitis A?  

The best way to not get Hepatitis A is to get immunized. The Hepatitis A vaccine is safe. It is much safer to get the vaccine than to get the disease. When you get immunized you help to protect others as well.

Who should get the Hepatitis A vaccine?

The Hepatitis A vaccine is provided free to people who are considered at high risk for infection starting at six months of age. Find out if you are eligible for a free hepatitis vaccine.

To get immunized against Hepatitis A make an appointment with your doctor, pharmacist (for those 5 years and older) or Public Health.

To book an immunization appointment with Public Health:

Residents of Fraser East (Mission, Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Agassiz and Hope), call 604-702-4906

Residents in any other area of Fraser Health, call 604-476-7087 

Resources

For more information about Hepatitis A and the Hepatitis A vaccine, go to:

I Need To...