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Hepatitis B Vaccination Hepatitis B Vaccination
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HEPATITIS B;  TRAVEL HEALTH INFORMATION

Travelling is a fun way to unwind from stress. Whether alone or with your family, the journey to a new place for business purposes or for pleasure, can be fun. However, it can be short lived when you find yourself in a new place, and with a case of Hepatitis B to worry about. We have taken the time to enlighten you about the Hepatitis B virus, while you make your trip.

What is Hepatitis B?

Hepatitis B is a viral disease that affects the liver, disrupting its function in the human body.

How is it transmitted?

Hepatitis B is caused by a virus. It enters the body through faecal contaminated food and water, generally through poor hygiene. It can also be transmitted through direct contact with body fluids and blood of an infected person. This means having unprotected anal, oral or vaginal sex with an infected person places you at risk of infection.

Symptoms

Most people do not usually experience symptoms when infected with the Hepatitis B virus, thus they may not treat it. However, some people still experience symptoms that include:

Treatment

Hepatitis B currently has no cure. This is because the virus remains in your body throughout your lifetime once you have been infected. For those are infected, there are prescriptions administered to suppress the virus and eliminate the symptoms. The best advice we would give after treatment would be for you to practice good proper hygiene in order to prevent re-occurrence of the infection.

Note that if not treated, Hepatitis B can develop into chronic hepatitis b.

Chronic Hepatitis B

Chronic Hepatitis B usually occurs 6 months after the initial infection of the virus. At this stage, it is much more serious and symptoms are more severe. If still not treated, it leads to liver breakdown, liver disease and finally death.

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Hypothetical Hepatitis B, Hep B, vaccine held by nurse. Label is totally fictitious. Names, serial numbers, dates are random and any resemblance to actual products is purely coincidental.

Hepatitis B and some common regions

Although Hepatitis b is found everywhere, it is prevalent in areas of low sanitation. Areas like Africa, Asia, South America and Middle East are prone to Hepatitis B virus. The highest rates of Hepatitis B infection are in areas like Central Europe, Eastern Europe and the Amazon.

Hepatitis B vaccination

Hepatitis B vaccine is given to prevent infection of hepatitis b virus. It is meant to protect you from Hepatitis B virus. Although you must also play your part to avoid exposure, it is just reassuring that the vaccine is there to protect you.

The Hepatitis B vaccines called Engerix B is administered through injections, through three doses, into your deltoid muscle of your arm. The first vaccine is administered, and the second one is given after 1 or 2 months. The final and third dose is administered after 6 months. Sometimes, it is administered four times for accelerated schedule at 0,1 2, and 12 months respectively.

Who can get vaccinated?

There are vaccines for adults and children, which means anyone can get it. However, for nursing mothers or pregnant women, we will advice them on the suitability of the vaccine.

Side effects?

 At The Travel Clinic, various patients have complained of some minor side effects like pain, reaction at the injection point, flu-like symptoms and problems with bowels.

How long will I be protected?

Getting the Hepatitis b vaccine ensures protection from the virus for life, for people to have received a primary course of immunization. However, if you are someone who might be at risk of exposure, maybe as a result of your job (health worker), you will need a re-inforcing dose of the vaccine.

Cost of Hepatitis B vaccine

The cost of the vaccine depends on the one administered and also on the brand. The Energix B for adults costs £80 per dose, while the Energix B junior for children costs £40 per dose.

Where can I get vaccinated?

At The Travel clinic London, our team of specialists will help you get vaccinated by providing you with the appropriate vaccine for your age.

Who should get vaccinated?

Travelling to areas with low levels of sanitation and hygiene is enough reason to get vaccinated against the virus. Others people who need to get vaccinated against the virus include people who;

  1. Change sexual partners often
  2. Are healthcare workers
  3. Have chronic liver or kidney disease
  4. Have close contact with people who are infected
  5. Work with body fluids or blood-like doctors and nurses
  6. Men who are homosexuals
  7. Are sex workers
  8. Work with primates like baboons, gorillas and apes.

Preventing Hepatitis B

There are characteristics and behaviors that place people especially travellers at risk of Hepatitis B. These actions should be avoided and they include;

  • Not sharing sharp instruments
  • Avoiding tattoos or piercings with instruments that are not sterilised
  • Avoiding exposure to body fluids and blood
  • Avoiding unprotected sex

Conclusion

Preventing Hepatitis B is a major step to take during travelling. Visit us today at The Travel Clinic for appointments and getting a vaccine.