Hepatitis A cluster connected to 2 Halifax-area child care centres

Provincial health officials are reaching out to families who may be affected.

Provincial health officials reaching out to families who may be affected

Nova Scotia public health officials are investigating a cluster of hepatitis A cases linked to two child care centres in the Halifax area. 

Authorities are in the process of contacting families who may have been affected at Kids and Company in Hammonds Plains and Grace Note Child Care Centre in Halifax.

"Hepatitis A is a viral disease that is spread person to person, and as such poses low risk to the general public, and to children and others outside of an affected facility," Dr. Gaynor Watson-Creed of the Nova Scotia Health Authority in a statement. 

Families being contacted

She said both daycares have been "extremely cooperative and supportive" in contacting the families of children who attend the centres. Hepatitis A vaccine is being offered at no cost to anyone who may have been exposed to the disease. 

The cluster of confirmed cases involve three children and one parent, all within the same family. The hepatitis A symptoms were reported on Friday after the adult fell ill. Children often don't show symptoms or have only mild symptoms, while adults feel the effects more severely. 

They have received medical care and are recovering, the health authority said. 

Source not yet identified

The source of the cluster has not yet been identified. Hepatitis A is often mild and resolves on its own.

Unlike hepatitis B and C, hepatitis A is not transmitted through blood and doesn't produce long-term infections.

Symptoms can take between 15 and 50 days to develop after someone is infected with hepatitis A. They include:

  • fever
  • fatigue
  • loss of appetite
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • itching
  • change in stool colour