hepatitis B - MASTA Travel Health | For All Your Vaccination advice

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a very infectious virus which affects the liver and can be life-threatening. Long-lasting infection can lead to chronic liver disease and even cancer many years later. It is a worldwide problem. There are thought to be 350 million people who are “carriers” of the hepatitis B virus.
  • Symptoms Loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, fever. Occasionally a skin rash and joint pains can occur.
  • How do you catch hepatitis B? Hepatitis B is spread by contact with blood or body fluids from an infected person. It can be spread through unprotected sex, tattoos, body piercings, acupuncture, contact sports or by sharing needles with drug users.
  • Incubation period 30 – 80 days
  • Diagnosis Diagnosis is confirmed by a blood test, which can detect the virus for 30-60 days after infection


Using a condom will reduce, but not eliminate, the risk of catching hepatitis B through sexual intercourse. Avoid anything which involves piercing the skin unless you are certain that the equipment has been sterilised properly. An effective vaccine is available and is part of routine immunisation programmes in many countries, including the UK


Treatment is aimed at relieving the symptoms, as there is no cure. Antiviral drugs are used in long term infections.

Vaccination options

Can be given alone or combined with hepatitis A vaccine.

Level of protection: ~ 76-96%. Rapid schedules may have lower protection.

Protection duration: Lifelong for most travellers following a primary course

How is it given: Usually given as 3 injections at varying intervals depending on date of travel. 4th dose sometimes recommended.

£55.00 Pricing shown is per dose

  • The World Health Organization has estimated that over 240 million people worldwide are infected with the virus long term.
  • Poorly-sterilised medical and dental instruments carry a risk of hepatitis B.
  • The Blood Care Foundation can provide safe blood for transfusion in an emergency to any part of the world. For details visit www.bloodcare.org.uk
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