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FAQ

What countries are affected by hepatitis B?

Page last updated 26 June 2018

North America, Northern Europe and Australia have a low incidence of hepatitis B. Countries in the Mediterranean, parts of Eastern Europe, Africa, Central and South America have higher rates. The highest rates of hepatitis B exist in sub-Saharan Africa, South East Asia and the Pacific Islands. 

If you are travelling to countries with higher incidences of hepatitis B or those which may not screen their blood supply in case of a blood transfusion, there are several precautions you can take:

  • Get immunised before you travel
  • Practise safe sex – use condoms correctly
  • Do not share drug-injecting equipment
  • Limit alcohol consumption as people tend to take more risks when intoxicated
  • Do not share toothbrushes, razors, piercings or needles
  • Avoid tattoos and acupuncture unless you are sure they equipment is appropriately sterilised
  • Before any medical or dental procedures, ensure equipment used is sterilised appropriately.
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Sources & Citations

  1. Australian Government, Department of Health, Australian Immunisation Handbook 10th Edition, 4.5 Hepatitis B. Available at http://www.immunise.health.gov.au/internet/immunise/publishing.nsf/Content/Handbook10-home~handbook10part4~handbook10-4-5 (accessed 5 April 2018).
  2. World Health Organisation, Global Hepatitis Report, 2017. Available at http://www.who.int/hepatitis/publications/global-hepatitis-report2017/en/ (accessed 6 April 2018).

SPANZ.SAPAS.18.04.0173a - Date of preparation May 2018

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