NHS Service

Travelling To High-Risk Areas: Precautions For Hepatitis Prevention

Hepatitis prevention tips for travel to high-risk areas

Your liver is an impressive organ that helps keep your body working properly. It has a hand in metabolism function, digestion, detoxification, and the storing of essential vitamins and nutrients. The liver also has an impressive ability to repair itself, but sometimes it can become inflamed and unable to fix itself.

Hepatitis is a broad term for a group of diseases that cause liver inflammation. Their symptoms and severity can vary, but they each have the potential to cause irreparable damage to your liver. Two of the most common forms are Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B. Both of these serious diseases can be prevented with a hepatitis travel vaccination available from Touchwood Pharmacy

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is a very infectious disease that is usually spread through contaminated food and water. It most commonly occurs when people infected with the illness don’t thoroughly wash their hands before preparing food. Anyone who eats that food is at risk of becoming ill. The virus can also be spread by drinking water becoming contaminated with sewage.

Areas with poor sanitation infrastructure are most at risk for Hepatitis A, with cases often occurring in Africa, India, the Middle East, and Central America.

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is another disease that causes inflammation of the liver. It’s spread through blood and bodily fluids, often through sexual activity, sharing needles, or during birth from mother to baby. Hepatitis B can also be spread through the sharing of razors, medical equipment, and toothbrushes. Needlestick injuries among medical professionals is another potential method of transmission.

The illness can be found everywhere across the globe but is more common in Asia, South America, the Caribbean, and Africa. The relative risk for travellers is low, but it is still recommended that you take precautions if you are going to be travelling where cases of Hepatitis B are more prevalent.

Preventing Hepatitis While Travelling

Basic safety precautions can help reduce your chances of contracting hepatitis while you’re abroad. You should:

  • Frequently wash your hands
  • Use only bottled water
  • Skip ice in your drinks
  • Only eat piping hot food from trusted sources
  • Use protection like condoms

The risk of infection becomes even lower when you pair these precautions with hepatitis vaccines. So before your next trip, book an appointment online at Touchwood Pharmacy for effective hepatitis travel vaccination in Walsall and Sydenham.