The Hepatitis B vaccination is offered to people who are at increased risk of contracting Hepatitis B or suffering ill health due to its complications. Hepatitis B is a major cause of serious liver disease including cirrhosis of the liver or scarring and liver cancer. If you are interested in finding out more about the Hepatitis B vaccination then contact our travel clinic in Sydenham. We also offer hepatitis vaccination at our travel clinics in Northolt and Streatham.
Types of Hepatitis
There are five different types of hepatitis ranging from A to E in name, they are all caused by a virus-specific to that particular type. There is also a sixth category called alcoholic hepatitis which can occur after drinking too much over several years.
Symptoms of Hepatitis
Not every hepatitis patient will have symptoms but if they do then these can include:-
- Muscle aches and joint pain
- Fever or temperature
- Sickness and being sick
- Excessive tiredness
- Loss of appetite
- Tummy pain
- Dark coloured urine
- Pale grey coloured stools
- Yellowing of the eyes and skin called jaundice
Not all types of hepatitis result in symptoms and many of the listed symptoms can be confused with lifestyle issues or other illnesses. Symptoms can only be confirmed with proper testing.
What is the Test for Hepatitis?
Usually, hepatitis is confirmed using blood tests and liver tests which can involve scanning the liver to create a visual image and also a liver biopsy. Blood tests can detect the presence of a specific hepatitis virus as well as antibodies which are produced by the immune system to fight the virus. Blood tests can also look for signs of liver damage.
Vaccination for hepatitis is specific to the class of virus. Vaccines for Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B are offered as part of the NHS vaccination programme. There is no vaccination for Hepatitis C.
Why take the Hepatitis vaccine?
There has been a sharp increase in the number of cases of Hepatitis A in recent years although incidences of Hepatitis B have dropped because of the effect of immunisation programmes. The Hepatitis vaccine is part of the recommended suite of immunisations on the NHS.