What Is Hepatitis B?
Hepatitis B is a contagious liver infection with potentially severe symptoms. It can lead to lifelong illness if it becomes chronic.
The two most common forms of hepatitis B are:
- Acute Hepatitis B – A short-term illness occurring 6 months after exposure. It can lead to chronic hepatitis infection.
- Chronic Hepatitis B – A long-term illness that affects the liver. Nearly 250 million people worldwide have chronic infection.
How Does Hepatitis B Spread?
The hepatitis B virus spread through bodily fluids like blood or semen. Some common vectors include: sex, contaminated needles, and direct contact with blood or open wounds.
Sexual transmission accounts for nearly two-thirds of acute hepatitis B cases. It is 50 to 100 times more infectious than HIV.
How Hepatitis Strains Spread
FOOD OR WATER
What Is the Hepatitis B Vaccine?
A hepatitis B vaccine is the best form of protection against the virus. The injectable vaccine provides lifelong protection, if boosters are completed.
Five different version of the vaccine are available in Canada, all of which are very safe.
Who Should Get a Hepatitis B Vaccine?
Vaccination against hepatitis B is recommended for everyone. But, some groups are at an increased risk. These include the following individuals:
- Men who have sex with men
- Inject drugs or share needles
- Live with a person with chronic hepatitis B
- Hemodialysis patients
- Travelers to regions with hepatitis B transmission.
Those who are allergic to products within the vaccine and some individuals with certain health conditions. Consult with a travel health specialist to learn if the vaccine is right for you and your situation.
Where Does Hepatitis B Occur?
Hepatitis B is found across the globe. From developed countries to those still developing, the disease can spread relatively easily. Some regions, like Africa, have an increased risk. While other more developed areas have a slightly lower risk due to increased use of vaccinations.
No matter the destination, vaccination is recommended.
Will I Need Hepatitis B Booster Shots?
Yes, hepatitis B booster vaccinations are necessary for full immunity. The exact schedule and number of doses vary by specific immunization given. Talk with a Passport Health travel health specialist to learn more.
Where Can I Get the Hepatitis B Vaccine?
All Passport Health locations carry a variety of hepatitis B vaccinations. Call book online to schedule your appointment today!or