Early assessment is crucial in preventing illness in someone who has been exposed and also in protecting the health of others. If you've been exposed, you may have unknowingly infected close friends or family and they might need to be assessed as well.
More information about hepatitis A and the other types of hepatitis are available on our website at http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/hep/index-eng.php.
Symptoms of hepatitis A
Following infection with a hepatitis virus, some people may experience symptoms such as fatigue and jaundice, but many people, especially children younger than six years of age, do not feel ill at all and remain unaware of their infection. If you consumed the recalled product and may have been exposed to hepatitis A, contact your local public health department or health care provider for an assessment.
Besides fatigue and jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes), hepatitis A symptoms can include:
-- Fatigue-- Loss of appetite-- Stomach pain-- Dark urine
Who is most at risk?
Infections can occur among people of all ages; however, symptoms are likely to be more severe among the elderly. People with weakened immune systems are also at high risk of developing serious complications.
How to protect yourself
Since the introduction of hepatitis A vaccine in Canada in 1996, the incidence of this disease has declined and the risk to the general public is low. Hepatitis A is most often spread through contaminated food or water. The virus can be spread by an infected food handler who hasn't properly washed their hands or through food that has come into contact with contaminated water.
Proper hygiene and safe food handling and preparation practices are key to preventing the spread of all food-borne illnesses, including hepatitis A.
Hepatitis A can also be prevented through vaccination.
General food safety
Everyone should practice these general food safety precautions (phac-aspc.gc.ca/fs-sa/fst-csa-eng.php) at all times.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recall page (fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm355166.htm)
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention investigation page (cdc.gov/hepatitis/Outbreaks/2013/A1b-03-31/index.html)
The Public Health Agency of Canada's hepatitis fact sheet (phac-aspc.gc.ca/hep/index-eng.php)
The Public Health Agency of Canada's Anatomy of a Food-borne Illness Outbreak (phac-aspc.gc.ca/fs-sa/anato-eng.php)
The Public Health Agency of Canada's video series, Something you ate? (phac-aspc.gc.ca/fs-sa/videos/index-eng.php)
The Government of Canada food safety web portal (foodsafety.gc.ca)
Public Health Agency of Canada