According to the University of NSW's Kirby Institute, 2016 saw 6,555 new Hepatitis B diagnoses in Australia.
In the same period, chronic Hepatitis B caused an estimated 412 deaths.
Hepatitis B is a contagious liver disease that ranges in severity from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a serious, lifelong illness. It results from infection with the Hepatitis B virus. Hepatitis B can be either “acute” or “chronic.”
Acute Hepatitis B virus infection is a short-term illness that occurs within the first 6 months after someone is exposed to the Hepatitis B virus. Acute infection can — but does not always — lead to chronic infection. Chronic Hepatitis B virus infection is a long-term illness that occurs when the Hepatitis B virus remains in a person’s body.
Children born after 2000 are vaccinated as infants, but many if not most working age Australians may be at risk of infection. This can lead to increased sick leave and productivity costs due to absent workers, and offering vaccination may even be part of your reasonable duty of care.
All individuals carry some risk of contracting hepatitis through lifestyle and other factors. Worker groups most at risk of being exposed at work include
- Waste, cleaning, and recycling industry workers
- Healthcare workers who may come into physical contact with patients, including when working with persons with intellectual disabilities
- Other service workers who may be in contact with human skin, such as tattoo artists, body piercers and embalmers
- Police, law enforcement and correctional facility workers
- Emergency service personnel
- Staff of childcare facilities
- Workers travelling to areas with his prevalence of hepatitis, including remote regions of Australia and developing nations
- Those playing contact sport
Hepatitis B vaccination is a short-term program of three (3) injections, on the first day, one month after, and then six months after the first dose. AusHealth Work can organise a series of bookings for these, and manage your team's vaccination schedule, taking the guess-work out of your health program.
Immunise your team against this infection by booking with a vaccination clinic today.