The Hepatitis B vaccine can help prevent Hepatitis B. There are a number of different types of vaccinations available including the Twinrix vaccine which also prevents Hepatitis A. Depending on your personal medical history and where you are traveling, our clinic will advise which vaccination is recommended for your trip. Contact us at (416) 461-2419 today or click here to book online.
Hepatitis B is caused by a virus that infects the liver. It is one of the most common vaccine-preventable diseases affecting travelers and can cause either acute or chronic infection.
About 90 to 95 percent of adults with acute hepatitis B infection will clear the virus on their own within six months, and develop lifelong protection against it.
Your risk depends of several factors: destination, length of stay, what you do when you are traveling and whether you have direct contact with blood or other body fluids. In certain destinations, your risk may be higher, as some areas have higher numbers of people with chronic hepatitis B in the general population.
The risk increases with certain activities, such as unprotected sex, sharing needles, tattooing and acupuncture.
Aid and health care workers and anyone who receives medical or dental care with unsterilized or contaminated equipment in a country where hepatitis B occurs are also at greater risk.
Hepatitis B is highly infectious, and is spread from one person to another through exposure to infected blood and body fluids (including semen and vaginal fluid). It can be spread through:
Hepatitis B occurs worldwide.
Regions with higher numbers of people with chronic hepatitis B in the general population include parts of Southern and Eastern Europe, South and Central America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
A map of countries and areas of risk for hepatitis B is available on the World Health Organization (WHO) website.
Consult a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic preferably six weeks before you travel.
It is not always possible to protect yourself against accidents and the possibility that you may need urgent health care (medical or dental) while traveling. In developing countries, urgent medical care may increase your risk of becoming infected with hepatitis B and other infections transmitted by blood. If you receive medical care while in another country, it is important to follow up with your health care provider when you return to Canada, and to inform them of the care you received abroad.
Source: © All rights reserved. Hepatitis B. Public Health Agency of Canada, 2016, with permission from the Minister of Health, 2017.