Hepatitis A is an infection of the liver caused by a virus. Most people who get hepatitis A disease recover in about one month, but it can take longer. People with a history of chronic liver disease are more likely to have a severe form of the illness.
The hepatitis A vaccine is very effective in preventing infection. It is also important to wash your hands often. If you have recovered from hepatitis A, you are protected from getting the infection again.
For more info, read the BC Health File: Hepatitis A Vaccine and the Hep A Fact Sheet (.pdf)
Pomeberry frozen berries
April 12-14, 2012: VIHA held Hepatitis A drop-in immunization clinics in Victoria, Nanaimo, Campbell River, and Port Hardyfor people who consumed Western Family brand Pomeberry Blend frozen berries in the previous 14 days. This followed a health alert issued by the BC Centre for Disease Control and a product recall.
Hepatitis A in Victoria
March 31 - April 7, 2012: VIHA held Hepatitis A public drop-in clinics were held at the Victoria Health Unit for employees and eligible members of the general public who consumed non-pre-packaged food purchased from a local store’s delicatessen between March 18 and 26, 2012.
Hepatitis A on Central Vancouver Island
October 2010 - March 2012: An outbreak of hepatitis A occurred on Vancouver Island between October 2010 and March 2012. Most of the cases were from the central portion of the island. As a result of many hours spent immunizing, contacting cases and preventing further spread, the outbreak was considered over after 17 months.
During that time, 91 persons were confirmed with the disease and 21 required hospitalization. As only one in five or six is ill enough to need medication attention, the outbreak likely affected close to 500 people. In the effort to control the outbreak, nearly 13,000 people were immunized.
Many thanks to everyone associated in helping end this outbreak. From those that washed their hands more frequently, got vaccinated or helped protect family and friends who were exposed – through to the health care workers with VIHA, FNIH and local Aboriginal health organizations, everyone made a difference.