To determine the prevalence of hepatitis A in a Canadian Inuit population, serum from 85% of the 850 inhabitants of Baker Lake, Northwest Territories, was tested by radioimmunoassay for antibody to the hepatitis A virus (anti-HAV). The overall prevalence of anti-HAV in the community was 71%. Exposure to the virus occurred early in life, such that by the age of 6 years 53% of the children had anti-HAV in their serum. The rate approached 100% by the age of 50 years. These findings document the ubiquitous nature of the hepatitis A virus in this northern Inuit settlement and suggest that immunoprophylaxis be considered for individuals taking short-term employment in such places.
From: Fortuine, Robert et al. 1993. The Health of the Inuit of North America: A Bibliography from the Earliest Times through 1990. University of Alaska Anchorage. Citation number 1945.