Travel safely with hepatitis protection

With the relaxation of travel restrictions, summer holidays in other European countries are possible again. As preventive health care is often neglected when traveling spontaneously, it is important to find out about possible illnesses in the respective holiday destination at an early stage. Whether in the Mediterranean, Eastern Europe or Germany – viral hepatitis, an inflammation of the liver caused by various types of virus (A, B, C, D and E), is one of the most common diseases when traveling. Unrecognized and untreated, chronic viral hepatitis can lead to liver damage and the development of liver cancer.1 In order to be able to enjoy the vacation time in a relaxed way, one should take care of the travel medical precaution early on.   Take hepatitis infection risk seriously Anyone planning a trip abroad should be protected from hepatitis A. Because already in the Mediterranean and Eastern Europe there is an increased risk of infection with hepatitis A, which is transmitted faecal-orally. Sources of transmission can be contaminated water and ice cubes or food that has come into contact with contaminated water (e.g. salads, vegetables), as well as mussels or other seafood.² The hepatitis B virus is transmitted through all body fluids, especially blood, semen and vaginal fluids. The infection therefore takes place through sexual intercourse, domestic contact (sharing e.g. nail scissors, nail files and towels) and in the medical field. The symptoms of the disease are often unspecific and initially manifest themselves in the form of fatigue, nausea, vomiting or upper abdominal pain. The infection can also take a chronic course without being noticed and lead to liver cirrhosis (shrinkage) and liver cancer in the long term .³ The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that around 290 million people worldwide do not even know that they are carriers of the hepatitis B virus and that they can infect others unnoticed. Vaccinations against hepatitis B are also important in Germany. Travel preparation? Vaccination pass check! Well-tolerated and effective vaccines against hepatitis A and B have been available for decades and should be administered at least 5 weeks before departure. All general practitioners can provide advice with a vaccination pass check and the vaccination. And: if you are protected against hepatitis B, you can’t get hepatitis D! It is important to complete the vaccination series completely so that the protection that has been built up remains in place for many years. After a successful vaccination, a vaccination protection of 30 years can be expected in healthy people More information about viral hepatitis, malaria & Co. The free “fit-for-travel” app and the www.fit-for-travel.de website provide useful information for travel preparation . They provide up-to-date travel medical information on over 300 travel destinations, e.g. B. on all vaccinations, diseases that can be prevented such as viral hepatitis A and B and malaria as well as climate tables. Doctors, health authorities and tropical institutes as well as other travel medicine advisory bodies recommend and use ” fit-for-travel ” for their patients and travel medicine advice. It is independent scientific information from the editorial staff for travel and tropical medicine (interMEDIS GmbH) with the kind support of GlaxoSmithKline GmbH & Co. KG.