Northern Health and the BC Centre for Disease Control are monitoring an increase in Hepatitis A cases in Dawson Creek. The investigation at to the source of the increase of Hepatitis A is ongoing, and an outbreak has been declared.
Health officials are asking people to take the appropriate precautions to prevent the spread of Hepatitis A. There is a vaccination available for Hepatitis A, and more information can be found on HealthLink BC’s Hepatitis A Vaccine page. The key for the public is hand washing. Thorough hand washing after visits to the restroom, before touching food or drink, and after changing a baby’s diaper can assist in mitigating spread. Stay home if you’re sick. If you are experiencing the symptoms of Hepatitis A, you are encouraged to speak to your family physician, contact HealthLink BC at 8-1-1, or call your local public health office.
Hepatitis A is a viral infection of the liver spread through fecal oral contact. The virus is ingested by mouth from fecal-contaminated food or drink, or through close personal contact with an infected person. Symptoms include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal discomfort, dark urine, clay-coloured bowel movements, joint pain, and jaundice. Symptoms can last for several weeks and normally do not last more than two months.