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GlaxoSmithKline Travel Health: 55 percent of travellers needlessly put themselves at risk from a potentially fatal virus
Date:5/18/2009

Travellers urged to seek hepatitis B vaccination before going abroad

London, UK (PRWeb UK) May 18, 2009 -- A new survey of travellers who visited hepatitis B endemic areas, reveals that over 55 per cent(1) of them were not vaccinated against the virus, which kills almost two people a minute(2).

More people are choosing destinations outside the Eurozone, such as Egypt and Turkey,(3) where hepatitis B may be common. The survey suggests that many travellers are still not seeking travel health advice and so putting themselves at risk of a preventable disease.

Despite its seriousness, the survey reveals that people admit they have travelled to destinations where hepatitis B is common without getting vaccinated and that they know little about the disease:(1)

 
  • 70 per cent admit that they don't know the health implications of contracting hepatitis B(1)
  • 75 per cent admit that they are unaware of the destinations where the risk of contracting the virus is increased.(1)

Hepatitis B is passed on via blood and body fluids and can cause flu-like symptoms, jaundice and more seriously, liver cancer. Vaccination is highly effective in preventing hepatitis B. Official sources estimate that as many as 180,000 people are infected with hepatitis B in the UK(4) however the Hepatitis B Foundation propose that this figure may be as high as 325,000.(5) Common in destinations such as Southern Europe, South-East Asia, Africa and the Middle and Far East,(2) hepatitis B is a global problem that has infected about 2 billion people, 350 million of whom have chr
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GlaxoSmithKline Travel Health: 55 percent of travellers needlessly put themselves at risk from a potentially fatal virus
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