The word hepatitis means inflammation of the liver cells. There can be many causes, with viruses including hepatitis A and B being two of the most common. The virus attacks the liver cells and leaves them less able to process the body’s waste products. Hepatitis symptoms typically begin as flu-like symptoms, with tiredness, aching joints, headaches and vomiting or diarrhoea. Jaundice, or yellowing of the skin and eyes, can follow as a result of waste products building up in the body. Hepatitis A may last for up to two months, and hepatitis B for up to four.
Hepatitis treatment is supportive and may include getting plenty of rest, eating a high calorie diet, or being admitted to hospital for intravenous fluids. In some cases, hepatitis can become a chronic illness requiring more invasive treatment and monitoring of liver function. With an affordable hepatitis A vaccine and hepatitis B vaccine available locally, protecting yourself before you travel has never been easier.
At our travel health clinic, our experienced vaccine specialists can help with all aspects of travel vaccination depending on the details of your upcoming trip. In addition to hepatitis travel vaccinations, we offer a full complement of travel vaccines. To ensure we are accessible to all, our vaccinations are competitively priced. Staff can also offer advice with mosquito bite prevention and insect repellents.
Call now to book your appointment in Leighton Buzzard.
Hepatitis A is transmitted via the faecal-oral route, often in areas where there is poor sanitation. Hepatitis B is often transmitted sexually but can be passed on if medical instruments including needles are not sterilised properly between patients. In 2015, there were an estimated 114 million cases of hepatitis A, and 343 million people with chronic hepatitis B. Hepatitis B is endemic to sub-Saharan Africa and Asia, making the hepatitis B vaccine essential for travel to these areas.