What is it?

Hepatitis A is a viral disease that can cause inflammation of the liver, flu-like symptoms and jaundice

What are the symptoms?

Most people experience flu-like symptoms, including headache and fever

Other symptoms include stomach cramps, jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes), diarrhea, darkened urine and pale-coloured stools, loss of appetite, discomfort/pain in the right upper part of the abdomen

People usually start to feel sick 2-7 weeks after they’ve been infected

Symptoms can last from a week to several months

Where can I contract it?

You can get hepatitis A anywhere, but it’s most common in developing countries, particularly rural areas, where sanitation and hygiene practices may be poor

How can I contract hepatitis A?

The virus is spread when an infected person doesn’t wash their hands properly after using the washroom, and then prepares food or makes hand contact with others who then eat the food or touch their mouths

You may also be infected if you eat uncooked foods such as shellfish

What vaccines are available?

The hepatitis A vaccine

It is 2 shots given 6-12 months apart

One shot of hepatitis A vaccine is effective for immunity

The second shot creates longevity of immunity

Twinrix® for hepatitis A and B is given in a series of 3 doses over 6 months

Vivaxim® for hepatitis A and typhoid – is currently not available in Canada

Will I need a booster?

Possibly, but the hepatitis A vaccine is good for at least 20 years

How can I prevent hepatitis A?

Always wash your hands well with soap and water after going to the washroom, before preparing food and before eating

What is the treatment?

There is no effective treatment for hep A

Most people recover within 4-6 weeks, hospitalization is rare

Up to 20% of infected adults may have a relapse of symptoms, resulting in prolonged illness

"The Burnaby location has very nice staff that makes your less than fun stay much better (who likes being stuck by one or more needles). They give vaccinations for basically anything that you could need wile out travelling the world. "
Mike G - Yelp

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