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Hepatitis A and B Vaccinations

When you are travelling to countries in Africa, the Indian subcontinent, Central and South America, the Far East, Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe and/or South East Asia it is important to have a vaccination so you do not contract Hepatitis, particularly if you are travelling with children as they are at higher risk.

There are several types of Hepatitis, which causes inflammation of the liver, including Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B.

You may be at risk of Hepatitis in your job in the UK, read more.

About Hepatitis

 

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is an infection which can get into your body by way of contaminated water and foods, or by direct contact with an infectious person.  This is often due to low sanitation in certain countries around the world.

Symptoms of Hepatitis A

  • Pain
  • Feeling tired all the time
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and diarrhoea
  • Yellowing of the eyes and skin (jaundice)
  • A high temperature
  • Itchy skin

Prevention

It is important to avoid:

  • Eating food prepared by someone with the infection who has not washed their hands properly, or who’s washed them in water contaminated with sewage
  • Drinking contaminated water, including ice cubes
  • Eating raw or undercooked shellfish from contaminated water
  • Close contact with someone who has hepatitis A

Treatment

There is currently no cure for hepatitis A. It normally gets better on its own within a couple of months.  Our advice is to:-

  • Get plenty of rest
  • If you have any aches or pains, take painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen,
  • Reduce itching by maintaining by wearing loose clothing and avoiding hot baths or showers
  • Eat small, light meals to help reduce nausea and vomiting
  • Avoid alcohol as alcohol can put additional strain on your liver

Visit the NHS website to read more about preventing spreading the infection.

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is an infection which can get into your body by way of blood or other bodily fluids from a contaminated person, particularly from infected pregnant women to their babies or infection from one child to another child.

Symptoms of Hepatitis B

  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Diarrhoea Loss of appetite
  • Yellowing of the eyes and skin (jaundice)

Prevention

In order to prevent contracting a Hepatitis B infection, it is important to avoid:

  • Injecting drugs, sharing needles and other drug equipment, such as spoons and filters
  • Having sex with an infected person without using a condom
  • Having a tattoo, body piercing, or medical or dental treatment in an unhygienic environment with unsterilised equipment
  • Having a blood transfusion in a country where blood is not tested for hepatitis B – all blood donations in the UK are now tested for the infection
  • Sharing toothbrushes or razors contaminated with infected blood
  • Needle stick injuries
  • The blood of someone with hepatitis B getting into an open wound, cut or scratch.

Treatment

Short-term (acute) hepatitis B does not usually need specific treatment but may require treatment to relieve the symptoms. Long-term (chronic) hepatitis B is often treated with medication to keep the virus under control. If you are diagnosed with hepatitis B, your GP will refer you to a liver specialist (hepatologist).

Hepatitis Vaccinations

All children born in the UK after 1 August 2017 should receive the hepatitis B vaccine as part of the routine UK vaccination schedule. Anyone born before 1 August 2017 is unlikely to be vaccinated routinely, so may be at risk of exposure through travel.

Vaccination doses are administered in different doses and doses are different for adults and children:-

Adults

  • Hepatitis A + Typhoid
  • Hepatitis A + B – 3 doses
  • Hepatitis A – 2 doses
  • Hepatitis B – 3 doses

Children

  • Hepatitis A Child – 2 doses
  • Hepatitis A + B Child – 3 doses
Book your private Hepatitis vaccinations here