Alberta Health Services
Hepatitis A is an infection in the liver that is caused by the hepatitis A virus.
One out of 4 adults who get hepatitis A need to be admitted to a hospital. It’s rare, but you can die from a hepatitis A infection.
Learn more about hepatitis A.
You are at high risk of getting hepatitis A if you:
People who have liver problems, have a weak immune system, or are over age 60 years are at higher risk for getting seriously ill if they get hepatitis A.
It spreads through infected stool (poop) getting onto hands or into food and water, and then into the mouth.
Symptoms include poor appetite, nausea (feeling sick to your stomach), vomiting (throwing up), feeling tired, fever, and jaundice (yellow skin and eyes). The symptoms can be serious and last for months.
Some people, especially babies and young children, do not have symptoms but can still spread the disease.
If you have contact with the hepatitis A virus and are at risk for serious illness, you may get immune globulin. Immune globulin can help prevent hepatitis A or prevent getting seriously sick if you do get the disease.
Immune globulins give quick, short-term protection. For long-term protection, you need a vaccine.
Learn more about immune globulin.
To find out if you need a hepatitis A vaccine for travel and when you need it:
It is best to contact a private travel clinic, your doctor, or your pharmacist at least 6 weeks before you travel.
Contact your local public health or community health centre to find out if you need any routine immunizations.
In addition to getting the hepatitis A vaccine, you can prevent the spread of hepatitis A with regular handwashing, using safe food practices, and practising safer sex.
Learn more about how to avoid spreading hepatitis A.