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revised February 03, 2012

Arrow BulletHepatitis A

What is Hepatitis A?

  • Hepatitis A is a liver infection caused by the Hepatitis A virus.
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What are the symptoms?

  • Symptoms of Hepatitis A infection include:
    • Fever
    • Loss of appetite
    • Upset stomach and abdominal discomfort
    • Dark coloured urine
    • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and/or the whites of the eyes)
  • Some people, particularly young children, have no symptoms at all. Symptoms can last anywhere from 1 week to several months.
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How is it spread?

  • Hepatitis A virus is found in the stool of someone infected with Hepatitis A. The virus is spread by putting something in the mouth, such as food or water, that has been contaminated with the stool of a person with Hepatitis A (even though it may look clean). People are most infectious a week or two before symptoms occur.
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What is the treatment?

  • Hepatitis A is a viral infection so there is no antibiotic treatment. It is up to your own immune system to fight the infection. Once someone has had Hepatitis A, they develop immunity and cannot become infected again.
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How can Hepatitis A be prevented?

  • The spread of hepatitis A can be prevented by washing your hands well after using the toilet, after changing diapers, and before handling or eating food. People who have received vaccination against Hepatitis A are protected against infection. To prevent Hepatitis A infection, you may wish to speak with your doctor about the Hepatitis A vaccine.
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If you have any questions

  • If you have any questions, ask your doctor or call Peel Public Health at 905-799-7700.
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Revised: February 03, 2012


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