Travel Advice

Health Tips and Information


Travel health tips to keep you safe during your holiday or business trip.

Hepatitis B and Travel

on 06 May 2022
Last Updated: 06 May 2022

What is hepatitis B?

Hepatitis B is a virus that causes liver disease. The virus can be found in the blood and body fluids of infected people.

Hepatitis B is a vaccine-preventable disease. Reade More! Hepatitis B vaccine

The virus is commonly spread while traveling through unprotected sex, infected medical devices, blood transfusions or parts of needles (including injections, piercings and acupuncture).

Risk of hepatitis B disease for travelers

Hepatitis B occurs in almost all parts of the world, but is more common in some countries in Asia, Africa, South America and the Caribbean. Although the risk to most passengers is small, medical tourists (people who travel for medical purposes) or people who need medical care while traveling may be more vulnerable.

 Map showing countries most affected by hepatitis B.

Hepatitis B illness

Hepatitis B infection causes acute infection. Some people have no symptoms, but others may experience a slow onset, which can be severe and can lead to hospitalization. Severe liver failure may occur.

Symptoms of hepatitis B may include:

• mild temperature (fever) and / or flu-like symptoms

• abdominal pain and diarrhea

• feeling or sick (nausea / vomiting)

• yellowing of the skin and eyes (Jaundice)

Symptoms can last for weeks to months. The infection can be completely resolved and the person can no longer pick up the infection. Or the infection may become moaning. Chronic hepatitis B infection throughout life and in some leads to progressive liver disease and an increased risk of liver cancer.

Treatment

There is no specific treatment for acute hepatitis B. People who develop chronic infections may need treatment with medication. Treatment does not cure the infection, but it can control it.

How can you prevent hepatitis B?

All passengers should avoid contact with blood and body fluids to reduce their risk, including:

• Avoid unprotected sex.

• Where contact is unavoidable, use suitable protection.

• Avoid printing, piercings and acupuncture (unless you are using sterile equipment).

• Do not share needles or other injection equipment.

• Do not share sharing tools.

Hepatitis B vaccination is recommended for all travelers who are considered at risk for HBV (see vaccine information below).

The hepatitis B vaccines protect against hepatitis B in more than 95%. Reade More! Hepatitis B vaccine

Back to top