Hepatitis A is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis A virus. It's different from other types of hepatitis, such as hepatitis B and C.
Hepatitis A is most commonly spread when someone eats food or drinks water that contains the hepatitis A virus. This is more likely when traveling outside Canada in areas of the world where hepatitis A is more common. Contaminated sources may include:
- ice cream
- raw or undercooked shellfish
- raw or frozen fruits and vegetables (peel them yourself to reduce risk)
Hepatitis A can also spread:
- by eating foods prepared by an infected person
- from person to person (rarely) through:
- sexual contact with an infected person
- contact with the feces of an infected person
- blood transfusions or sharing needles for drug use
- changing diapers or cleaning up stool from an infected person
Even if you do not have symptoms, you can still infect others. Infected infants and children are more likely to be without symptoms than infected adults.
You can spread the virus starting 2 weeks before you show any symptoms. You can continue to infect others until about a week after you get jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes).
Source: Health Canada