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Hepatitis B occurs in many countries, but the risk of infection is higher in certain regions, especially countries in Asia, Africa, and South America.


The hepatitis B virus is found in blood, semen, pre-ejaculatory fluid, and vaginal fluids. Infection can occur in a number of ways. In addition to unsafe sexual contact, hepatitis B is transmitted through direct contact with blood, during childbirth from mother to child, through needle stick injuries, or through the shared use of needles. During a vacation, for example, it can also be spread through unsafe sex, getting piercings or tattoos, a visit to the local hairdresser, dental treatment, or a medical procedure with non-sterile material.


Although infection with the virus can go unnoticed, hepatitis B can also lead to serious liver disease. The symptoms of acute hepatitis B are fatigue, poor appetite, muscle and joint pains, fever (flu-like symptoms), jaundice (yellowing of the skin, whites of eyes, stool, and urine), and sometimes itching.

What you can do

Take hygienic measures, avoid high-risk behavior, and get vaccinated against hepatitis B. The hepatitis B vaccine is given in three doses and provides lifelong protection for healthy travelers. If you receive the vaccines because of a work-related risk, you are advised to have a blood test after the last vaccination.

All babies born after August 2011 are vaccinated against hepatitis B as part of the national vaccination program (RVP).