Hepatitis C: Britons getting tattoos and cosmetic procedures abroad may be at risk – here’s how to avoid it
Published: September 28, 2023 11.52am EDT, The Conversation
A growing number of people living in the UK are going abroad to have tattoos, piercings and cosmetic surgeries. Any procedure, no matter where it’s performed, can carry the risk of injury and infection.
But people heading abroad for cosmetic procedures may want to be extra cautious – with recent reports suggesting thousands of UK residents may have unknowingly contracted hepatitis C this way.
Over 170 million people worldwide are estimated to have hepatitis C. There are approximately one million new infections each year. In England, more than 70,000 people had hepatitis C in 2022. But many more could unknowingly be infected, as hepatitis C symptoms can take years to show up.
Hepatitis C can develop into severe and fatal liver disease if undiagnosed. But when caught early, treatment is over 95% effective – highlighting just how important timely testing is.
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