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Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases
Volume 12, Issue 6, Pages 341-344
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2001/834670
Original Article

Current Hepatitis A Status in Canada

Jun Wu, Shimian Zou, and Antonio Giulivi

Bloodborne Pathogens Division, Bureau of Infectious Diseases, Centre for Infectious Disease Prevention and Control, Health Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Received 14 September 2000; Accepted 28 August 2001

Copyright © 2001 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Hepatitis A, caused by the hepatitis A virus, occurs most frequently in developing countries, but also causes sporadic cases or outbreaks in industrialized countries. The most common route of transmission is fecal-oral. The incidence of hepatitis A varies with geography, and economic and environmental conditions. The epidemiological pattern of the disease has changed with improvements in hygiene and economic conditions. The incidence and prevalence of hepatitis A has decreased, while the average age of exposure and subsequent infection has increased. The present report describes the current status of hepatitis A in Canada. The incidence rate of reported cases in Canada varies from over 10/100,000 (1991) to 3.6/100,000 (1998), and is higher in males, 4.7/100,000 (1998), than in females, 2.5/100,000 (1998). The highest reported hepatitis A rates are in age groups 30 to 39 years and 40 to 59 years, and in British Columbia. Such information is important for assessing current immunization approaches and for decision-making about new preventive strategies against hepatitis A in Canada.