High-risk groups

There is a vaccine against hepatitis A and hepatitis B, but there is no vaccine against hepatitis C. Screening for HBV and HCV is recommended for certain at-risk individuals.

Who is at risk?

Hepatitis A and E 

  • People travelling in an endemic zone or in countries with poor sanitation
  • Men who have sex with men (MSM)
  • People who eat shellfish
  • People who eat raw pork products (HEV genotype 3)
  • Non-vaccinated people

Hepatitis B and C 

  • People who have sexual relations without a condom with a person who has HBV or HCV 
  • Intravenous drug users 
  • Healthcare professionals 
  • People who have received a blood transfusion or clotting factor transfusion prior to 1990 (HCV)
  • People undergoing haemodialysis treatment
  • Newborns whose mothers are infected by HBV or HCV
  • People who travel to an endemic zone 
  • Men who have sex with men (MSM) living with HIV
  • People who have tattoos or piercings using unsterilized equipment

DID YOU KNOW? Hepatitis E (genotype 1) is potentially fatal for pregnant women. This genotype circulates principally in Asia and Africa. An infection with hepatitis E virus, genotype 1 during the last few months of pregnancy can be fatal in 20% of cases. The virus can equally be transmitted from the pregnant woman to the foetus.

In conjunction with the Laboratoire Clinique de Saint-Luc (Saint Luc Clinical Laboratory) — UCL Brussels, Sciensano hosts the National Reference Centre for the hepatitis B, C, D, and E viruses, which analyses the viral strains of hepatitis. Sciensano also carries out epidemiological surveillance of the different types of viral hepatitis in Belgium and monitors the quality of the vaccines.

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