Hepatitis A outbreak in the US and Canada: what you should know

The virus may have spread because of contaminated strawberries
In Canada they were only sold for 4 days
At least twenty-seven people are infected
What is Hepatitis A?
Can you die from Hepatitis A?
Common symptoms
Small children might not have symptoms
Signs of liver failure
You may also experience:
Symptoms typically show after 14 to 28 days of exposure to the virus
There is no treatment for Hepatitis A
Healthy eating habits
How to prevent it
Other precautions
The virus may have spread because of contaminated strawberries

In the US, the strawberries were distributed nationwide and sold under the brands FreshKampo or HEB, between March 5 and April 25, according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

In Canada they were only sold for 4 days

The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) said the strawberries were sold between March 5 and 9, at stores in Saskatchewan and Alberta.

At least twenty-seven people are infected

There have been 17 infections reported in the US with 12 hospitalisations, while 10 infections have been reported in Canada.

What is Hepatitis A?

Hepatitis A is a contagious virus that causes inflammation of the liver. It is primarily spread when an unvaccinated person ingests food or water contaminated with the faeces of an infected person. It is closely related to poor hygiene.

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Can you die from Hepatitis A?

Hepatitis A is rarely fatal, but death has happened due to liver failure. This tends to happen more often in people who are over 50 years old and in people who have another liver condition, according to Cleveland Clinic.

Common symptoms

Loss of appetite, diarrhoea, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, dark urine, and yellowing of the eyes and skin are the most common symptoms.

Small children might not have symptoms

However, in some cases, especially with children under the age of six, they might not show any symptoms, according to the FDA.

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Signs of liver failure

If the disease gets serious you might experience sudden and severe vomiting, a tendency to bruise and bleed easily.

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You may also experience:

Irritability, memory loss, drowsiness and confusion, may also occur according to the NHS, in which case, they advise you to quickly go to a doctor.

Symptoms typically show after 14 to 28 days of exposure to the virus

And according to The Public Health Agency of Canada, mild symptoms might last one or two weeks, while severe symptoms might last up to nine months.

There is no treatment for Hepatitis A

Although there’s no treatment available for the virus, health have several recommendations that may help.

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Healthy eating habits

The NHS recommends infected people rest, drink fluids and eat well, and to avoid alcohol consumption as to reduce the strain on the liver.

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How to prevent it

The Public Health Agency of Canada says that the best way to prevent it is by getting vaccinated.

Other precautions

However, you can also reduce the risk by washing your hands often and being cautious with food and water.

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