Hepatitis B is a liver disease caused by the Hepatitis B bacteria. It is transmitted through infected blood or body fluids, often through unprotected sexual activity, injection drug use or sharing personal items such as toothbrushes. The World Health Organization reports that the Hepatitis B virus may remain on any surface it comes into contact with for about a week, e.g. table-tops, razor blades, blood stains, without losing infectivity. Hepatitis B may not display any symptoms for up to 6 months, after which time weight loss, nausea, and jaundice, among other symptoms may occur.
Hepatitis B vaccine is recommended for travellers visiting countries where Hepatitis B is prevalent, people with chronic diseases, people with immunodeficiencies, people who engage in high-risk sexual activity, those with a history of sexually transmitted infections, people who use injection drugs, men who have sex with men, healthcare workers, anyone wishing to reduce their exposure to Hepatitis B and others.
World Health Organization – Hepatitis B, countries or areas at risk
Vaccine Name: Engerix B, Twinrix
- Engerix B Vaccine Product Monograph (PDF Download)
- Twinrix Product Monograph (PDF Download)
- Government of Canada Resource on Hepatitis B for Travellers
- World Health Organization Map of countries where Hepatitis B is prevalent