WETASKIWIN, Alta. -- Alberta Health Services says a volunteer at a Christmas dinner was infectious with hepatitis A.

The government says guests who attended the Wetaskiwin Mission Church dinner on Dec. 20 may have been exposed to the virus.

Officials say the risk to the public is low, but advise anyone who attended the dinner to monitor themselves and family for symptoms until Feb. 7.

Hepatitis A is an infection of the liver and people primarily contract the virus through direct contact with an infected person and also by eating or drinking contaminated food or water.

Symptoms may include tiredness, poor appetite, nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain and fever, followed by dark-coloured urine, light-coloured stools and yellowing of eyes and skin several days later.

Some people, especially young children, may get hepatitis A infection without noticing any symptoms; however, they are still infectious to others.

There is no specific treatment for hepatitis A, but it can be prevented through immunization.

Illness can occur between 15 and 50 days after exposure to the virus, but usually occurs within 28 to 30 days. Individuals can be infectious one to two weeks before symptoms occur until at least one week after the onset of illness.

Individuals who develop symptoms from Jan. 3 to Feb. 7 are advised to contact Health Link at 811 immediately.

Individuals who have had a hepatitis A infection in the past or who have previously received two doses of hepatitis A vaccine are not at risk of infection.