Hepatitis A is a virus that causes inflammation of the liver.
What are the symptoms of Hepatitis A?
Symptoms of Hepatitis A viral infection may include: fever, loss of appetite, nausea, abdominal pain and possibly jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes) resulting from inflammation of the liver. Many infants and children infected with the virus do not have any signs of illness, the disease is often more severe in adults.
How is Hepatitis A spread?
The virus is found in feces of infected individuals. It is spread person to person or by ingestion of contaminated water or foods.
Hepatitis A vaccine
Hepatitis A vaccine is available to help reduce risk of contracting the virus. The vaccine is administered in 2 doses; dose one on day 0 and dose two 6-12 months later. It is available in adult and junior dosing. A prescription is required and the vaccine must be purchased at a pharmacy.
Hepatitis A vaccine is also available in formulations that combine more than one vaccine. It is available with Hepatitis B vaccine in Twinrix
and is available in adult and junior formulations. It is administered in 3 doses, dose 1 on day 0, dose 2 at 1 month and dose 3 at 6 months.
It is also available with Typhoid vaccine in Vivaxim for those requiring protection from both Typhoid and Hepatitis A. Vivaxim
can be given as a first dose in a 2 dose series of Hepatitis A and then followed at 6-12 months with a single dose of Hepatitis A only vaccine. A prescription is required for these vaccines and they must be purchased at a pharmacy.
Hepatitis A vaccine is available free of charge to those that meet high-risk criteria set by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.
More to know
- Travellers should check with a travel clinic or public health nurse, 6-8 weeks prior to travel, to determine Hepatitis A risk and need for vaccination.
- Wash hands thoroughly before eating or preparing foods and after using the toilet or changing diapers.
- Drink food and water from a safe, reliable source..