Hepatitis B Vaccine
What Is Hepatitis B?
Hepatitis B is a contagious virus that is transmitted through blood; blood products, and other body fluids (such as semen).
Travellers can become infected through unprotected sex with an infected person, injection drug use, and transfusions with unscreened blood or body fluids of someone who has the Hepatitis B virus.
What is Hepatitis B Vaccine and why Should Travellers get the Vaccine?
The Hepatitis B vaccine is also known as the first “anti-cancer” vaccine because it prevents Hepatitis B; the leading cause of liver cancer worldwide. The risk to most travellers is low, but travellers could become infected if they have sex with an infected person, receive a transfusion of unscreened blood, have medical or dental procedures, get tattoos or piercings or receive acupuncture with needles that are not sterile.
Who Should Get a Hepatitis B Vaccine?
The Hepatitis B vaccine is a safe and effective vaccine that is recommended for all infants and children of up to age 18 years by the World Health Organization (WHO). Hepatitis B vaccine is usually given as 2, 3, or 4 shots. Infants should get their first dose of Hepatitis B vaccine at birth and will usually complete the series at 6 months of age (sometimes it will take longer than 6 months to complete the series). Children and adolescents younger than 19 years of age who have not yet gotten the vaccine should also be vaccinated.
Hepatitis B Symptoms
- Abdominal pain
- Dark urine
- Joint pain
- Loss of appetite
- Nausea and vomiting
- Weakness and fatigue
- Yellowing of your skin and the whites of your eyes (jaundice)
How to Reduce the Spreading or Catching of the Hepatitis B virus?
- Do not take unsafe injections.
- Prevent yourself from having unprotected sex.
- If you do get tattoos or get Hepatitis B piercings, make sure the equipment is sterile.
- If you receive medical or dental care, make sure the equipment is disinfected or sanitized.
How Hepatitis Strains Spread
FOOD OR WATER