Northern Health monitoring Hepatitis A cases in Dawson Creek

Photo by Northern HealthPhoto by Northern Health

DAWSON CREEK, B.C. — Northern Health has confirmed they are monitoring an increase in Hepatitis A cases in Dawson Creek, along with the BC Centre for Disease Control.

“At this time we’re still investigating the sources of Hepatitis A, and have declared an outbreak as we determine the source for the seemingly unrelated clusters recently identified,” stated Jonathan Dyck with Northern Health.

The health unit is asking people to take the necessary precautions to prevent the spread of Hepatitis A, a crucial one of which being routine 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.”

They also inform the public there is a vaccination available for Hepatitis A.

Anyone feels sick is encouraged to stay at home, and Northern Health says  to speak to your family physician, contact HealthLink BC at 8-1-1, or call your local public health office if you are experiencing any symptoms of Hepatitis A.

Hepatitis A is a viral infection of the liver, typically the virus is ingested by mouth from fecal-contaminated food or drink, but can be contracted through close contact with an infected person.

Northern Health says there are a variety of symptoms, including fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, abdominal discomfort, and jaundice.

Symptoms can last for several weeks, but do not normally last more than two months.

More information on Hepatitis A can be found through Northern Health.