What Are the Symptoms of Hepatitis A?

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Dr. Daniel Ngui, BSc. (P.T.), MD, CFPC, FCFP, Family Physician, discusses hepatitis A and its symptoms.

Dr. Daniel Ngui, BSc. (P.T.), MD, CFPC, FCFP, Family Physician, discusses hepatitis A and its symptoms.

Video transcript

Featuring Dr. Daniel Ngui, BSc (P.T), MD, CFPC, FCFP, Family Physician

Duration: 2 minutes, 16 seconds

So hepatitis A is a viral illness that can be transmitted person to person when there is a fecal oral route which means that if there's unsanitary practices where there is a food preparation occurring, where someone's not washing their hands or of the sanitary conditions are poor, a traveller can get hepatitis A.

The Center for Disease Control and the World Health Organization have great websites regarding travel and they have maps on where patients can be at most risk for hepatitis A. Hepatitis A is something that is easily preventable and by speaking to your family doctor or travel clinic, you'll be able to get the best advice to prevent this condition.

Oftentimes patients who go to developing countries are at risk whether you are an extended traveller or if you're simply enjoying a luxury resort. When someone gets hepatitis, the major things that can occur are in rare instances death or fulminant hepatitis, but the common symptoms include nausea, vomiting, upset stomach, loss of appetite, fatigue, dark-coloured urine, and gray-coloured stool.

The long term consequences of hepatitis can be serious; permanent liver damage, serious hepatitis which results in lung complications or even death.

So patients often ask when is the right timing to go and see your family doctor or a travel medicine expert. We generally recommend at least a month before you travel so that you can get the adequate protection before you travel.

Your family doctor or travel medicine expert will sit down with you and give you options whether it be a single vaccination against hepatitis A or a combination for A and B protection and finally there are other combinations with salmonella protection and hepatitis A protection.

So if you think you have hepatitis, you want testing for hepatitis or you want the best advice to prevent hepatitis while travelling, it's important that you go and speak to your health provider or family physician prior to travel.

Presenter: Dr. Daniel Ngui, Family Doctor, Vancouver, BC

Local Practitioners: Family Doctor

This content is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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