Lifestyle choices and holiday destinations to blame for likely increase
Instruments used during pedicures and tattoos in Asia-Pacific are high-risk
Prevalence of hepatitis C in Asia-Pacific is 10 times higher than Australia
Published: 07:28 EST, 7 September 2014 | Updated: 07:28 EST, 7 September 2014
Taking the leap and getting a tattoo or a piercing while on holiday may seem like an exciting and exhilarating idea, but an Australian medical expert is warning travellers to be aware of hepatitis B and C risks in the Asia-Pacific region.
Hepatitis Australia CEO Helen Tyrell has told the Courier Mail that medical experts are anticipating a rise in the number of Australian people contracting hepatitis B (HBV) and C (HCV) during the coming years.
She says their pessimistic outlook is based on the lifestyles of holidaymakers and their destination choices. The prevalence of hepatitis C in some Asia-Pacific countries is 10 times higher than it is in Australia The prevalence of hepatitis C in some Asia-Pacific countries is 10 times higher than it is in Australia
There is currently a vaccine for HBV, but health experts are concerned by the lack of a vaccine for HCV, which is known as ‘the silent killer’.
Many who contract the virus have no symptoms for years and even decades before the virus attacks their liver, which can lead to serious health difficulties.Victims often suffer from serious liver damage while the risk of cancer is also increased.Holidaymakers should be safety conscious and careful.Ms Tyrell said: ‘What we want all Australians to know before they head off on their overseas holiday is that any activity in which the skin is pierced can lead to infection with hepatitis – and, yes, that can include pedicures, tattoos and piercings, and even getting dental work done abroad.’She said the disease is contagious and it can be easily passed on from one person to another.She states if an instrument containing a microscopic amount of infected blood is […]