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Hepatitis A advisory issued for Chesterfield Inlet

Chesterfield Inlet residents are encouraged to take extra precaution and help prevent the spread of Hepatitis A, the Department of Health advised on Friday afternoon. 

The Hepatitis A virus can range in severity from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a severe illness lasting several months. You can get Hepatitis A by eating contaminated food, drinking contaminated water or through contact with an infected person's feces.

People infected with Hepatitis A can have a wide range of symptoms. Some do not get sick at all, though they can still spread the infection to others. A person may begin showing signs or symptoms two to seven weeks after being infected with the virus. Symptoms can include:

loss of appetite
stomach cramps
jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes)
dark urine

To help prevent the spread of Hepatitis A, be sure to wash your hands after using the washroom and changing diapers, and before preparing or eating food. As well, if you think that you have been exposed to Hepatitis A, or any other gastrointestinal illness, do not prepare food or pour water for other people.

If you or someone in your household is showing signs or symptoms of Hepatitis A, please go to your health centre or contact a health care provider immediately.