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FAQ

What countries are affected by hepatitis B?

Page last updated 28 April 2020

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

2. Australian Government, Department of Health. Australian Immunisation Handbook. Hepatitis B. Available at: immunisationhandbook.health.gov.au/vaccine-preventable-diseases/hepatitis-b (accessed 4 March 2020). 

4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Travelers’ Health, Hepatitis B. Available at: wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/diseases/hepatitis-b (accessed 4 March 2020).

SPANZ.SAPAS.18.04.0173(2)a - Date of preparation April 2020

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