Hepatitis B: Prevention and risks

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The Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is easily transmitted from one person to another through exposure to blood and body fluids containing HBV (including semen and vaginal fluid). It can be transmitted through:

A person with HBV who has no symptoms or signs of hepatitis B can pass the virus to another person. Most people who develop chronic hepatitis B can transmit HBV to other people for the rest of their lives.

Preventing Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is preventable through immunization. Ask your health care provider to check if you are protected against hepatitis B (either through vaccination or previous infection). Consider getting the vaccine if you are not protected and/or have an increased likelihood of getting hepatitis B.

To help prevent acquiring or transmitting HBV:

Travel-related considerations

Hepatitis B occurs worldwide.

Your likelihood of exposure to HBV while travelling depends on several factors:

Be aware of your likelihood for hepatitis B and other travel-related illnesses when planning travel. Your likelihood for hepatitis B may be higher in certain destinations, as some areas have higher numbers of people with chronic hepatitis B. Consult a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic before you travel. You can find information on travel health recommendations by country at travel.gc.ca.

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