Hepatitis is an infectious disease affecting the liver. Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B are the most common forms of the disease. When travelling, Hepatitis can be contracted because certain health practices at destination may not be on par with Canadian standards.
Hepatitis A is a liver disease caused by the Hepatitis A virus (HAV) and is transmitted by eating food or drinking water that has been contaminated by the feces of an infected person.
There is no specific treatment for Hepatitis A as it is an acute infection and usually self-limiting. It does not result in permanent liver infection or damage. Prevention through vaccination and careful measures is essential to not contract HAV. Check with your pharmacy to find out the prevalence of Hepatitis A at your vacation destination.
To prevent contracting Hepatitis A while you are away, follow these recommendations:
Hepatitis B is a liver disease caused by the Hepatitis B virus (HBV). The virus is transmitted through sexual contact and contact with contaminated blood, semen or other bodily fluids. Unlike Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B can become a chronic, lifelong condition if the virus does not leave the body.
Tips on how to protect yourself against Hepatitis B:
Regardless of the destination, anyone who may engage in activities that place them at risk for infection during their travels should receive the vaccination.
For a full list of recommended or required travel vaccinations, check The Government of Canada Travel Advisories or consult your pharmacist. Your pharmacist can also give you advice about preventing other common diseases while travelling such as traveller’s diarrhea, Zika or malaria as well as help you prepare your travel health kit. You may even get vaccinated at the convenience of your pharmacy. Ask your pharmacist today!
The information contained herein is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide complete information on the subject matter or to replace the advice of a health professional. This information does not constitute medical consultation, diagnosis or opinion and should not be interpreted as such. Please consult your health care provider if you have any questions about your health, medications or treatment.