Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a potentially serious inflammation of the liver caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV). Hepatitis B is transmitted via secretions/blood or sexual contact. Typical hepatitis B symptoms can be jaundice and fever, but some do not experience symptoms in the acute phase.


Where are you at risk of becoming infected with Hepatitis B?

Hepatitis B is highly contagious and spreads when infected blood, semen and other secretions are transferred to a person who has not had the disease or is vaccinated. 

Hepatitis B can infect:

  • via blood

  • by sexual contact with an infected person

  • by using used syringes and needles

  • via mother to child during birth

Hepatitis B is contagious does not via food, water, shared use of cutlery, hugs and kisses, holding hands, coughing or sneezing. 

In which areas is Hepatitis B found?

There is a worldwide risk of hepatitis B worldwide. Countries with a high risk of hepatitis B are found especially in Asia, Greenland, Africa and South America.

What are the symptoms of Hepatitis B?

Approximately 70% of adults and 90% of children under the age of five experience no symptoms of hepatitis B infection. 

Symptoms of the infection can be:

  • fever

  • fatigue

  • reduced appetite

  • weight loss 

  • abdominal pains

  • joint pain 

Approximately 20% of those infected with hepatitis B develop jaundice, light stools and dark urine.

Hepatitis B can develop into actual liver failure, and this occurs in around 1% of those infected.

The incubation period (time from infection to symptom development) one to six months. 

Hepatitis B symptoms disappear after up to three months, but some may experience prolonged fatigue. 

There is ririko to develop chronic carrier state of hepatitis B, which is a frequent cause of liver cancer.

What treatment is available for Hepatitis B?

There is no specific treatment for hepatitis B. If a serious course develops, hospitalization is necessary.

How is Hepatitis B prevented?

You can reduce your risk of getting hepatitis B by getting vaccinated, which provides lifelong protection.

Good advice to avoid hepatitis B during your trip to risk areas is:

  • avoid getting tattoos and piercings

  • avoid used razor blades and scrapers

  • safe sex

Vaccination is always recommended for persons with an occupational risk of infection. For people living in a household with hepatitis B infected people. Also MSM.


How do you get vaccinated against Hepatitis B?

The duration of the hepatitis B vaccine is lifelong, and consists of three doses. The first two doses must be given 28 days apart, after which you are sufficiently protected for your trip. 

The third dose must be given no earlier than five months after the second vaccination. After three doses, you are protected against hepatitis b for the rest of your life. 

The first dose of hepatitis B is given at least 28 days before departure. There is a fast program that can be given up to 21 days before departure.