Hepatitis B is a viral infection of the liver spread by direct contact with the blood or body fluids of an infected person. It occurs worldwide with highest rates reported in parts of East Asia and Sub Saharan Africa. Higher rates of infection are also found in the Amazon, southern parts of Eastern and Central Europe, the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent. The rates of infection in Western Europe and North America are low.
Risk for travellers is low although certain behaviours or activities put individuals at higher risk, particularly when these occur in areas where hepatitis B is more common.
These behaviours and activities include:
exposure to blood or blood products through occupation, such as healthcare work
exposure to contaminated needles through injecting drug use, or as a result of accessing medical or dental
participation in contact sports
adoption of children from risk countries
long stay travel