NHS Service

How to reduce the risk of Hepatitis?

How to reduce the risk of Hepatitis?


Hepatitis is a generic term used to describe inflammation of the liver, there are several different forms of hepatitis.  Sometimes preventing hepatitis is necessary if you are travelling to certain parts of the world.  Touchwood Pharmacy offers the hepatitis travel vaccination at their travel clinic in Bromley and also the hepatitis vaccine at their travel clinic in Walsall.

Why do you need a hepatitis vaccine if you are travelling abroad?

Hepatitis A is commonly found in developing and third world countries where sanitation is poor.  It is usually caught by eating food or drinking liquids which are contaminated from the faeces of an infected person, typically where there are no handwashing protocols.  Control of hepatitis is easy if you are travelling to these destinations which include Africa, the Indian subcontinent, the Far East and Central and South America.

Hepatitis B is spread via contaminated blood and activities such as unprotected sex and sharing needles.  Hepatitis B is not that common in the UK but is found in south-east Asia and Subsaharan Africa.  If the condition becomes chronic then the treatment for Hepatitis B can continue over many years.

What are the symptoms of hepatitis?

Symptoms can depend on the type of hepatitis but can include:-

  • A fever or high temperature
  • Nausea and sickness
  • Exhaustion and tiredness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Tummy ache
  • Itchy skin
  • Yellowing of the skin also called jaundice

Preventing hepatitis requires the hepatitis vaccine which can protect against Hepatitis A and B; the Hepatitis B vaccine is routinely offered by the NHS as part of the childhood immunisation programme.  If you are unsure whether you may already have been vaccinated against Hepatitis B or which hepatitis vaccinations you need, then Touchwood Pharmacy can advise you based on your current health profile and travel plans.

If you are travelling to high-risk locations and require the hepatitis vaccine you can obtain this at our travel clinics in both Bromley and Walsall.  There is more information on our website https://www.touchwoodpharmacy.com/