What is it?

Hepatitis B is caused by a virus that infects the liver

It can result in chronic life-long infection and is a serious and potentially life-threatening disease

What are the symptoms?

Tiredness, loss of appetite, fever, tenderness in the upper right side of the abdomen, dark-coloured urine, clay-coloured stools, nausea and jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyeballs)

Symptoms occur 2-6 months after contact with the hepatitis B virus

How can I contract hepatitis B?

Blood to blood contact through infected needles, unsterilized medical or dental equipment, contaminated tools used for tattooing, body piercing, acupuncture or injecting drugs

A toothbrush or razor shared with an infected person

Transmission from an infected mother to her newborn at birth

Blood transfusions in countries that have sub-optimal blood donor screening programs

You can also contract hepatitis B through unprotected sex with an infected person

Where can I contract it?

Hepatitis B occurs worldwide

The highest incidents occur in Eastern Europe, South and Central America, Africa and parts of Asia and the Middle East

What vaccines are available?

The hepatitis B vaccine on its own, or Twinrix (A and B) if you also want to get the hepatitis A vaccine at the same time

You need a series of shots to get immunity and several timing schedules are available

Immunity is life-long once completed in most people

Since 1982 in Canada, hepatitis B is part of routine childhood vaccination

How can I prevent hepatitis B?

Get vaccinated and take precautions when you are in situations where you are exposed to other people’s blood

What is the treatment?

Anti-viral treatments are available for chronic hepatitis B carriers but not everyone responds and it may not be effective

"The Burnaby location has very nice staff that makes your less than fun stay much better (who likes being stuck by one or more needles). They give vaccinations for basically anything that you could need wile out travelling the world. "
Mike G - Yelp