What Should I Know About Hepatitis B?

Q:
What should I know about hepatitis B?

A:
Hepatitis B is a serious liver infection caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV). Sometimes, it can become chronic, lasting more than six months. Chronic hepatitis B increase the risk of developing liver failure, liver cancer or cirrhosis.

Causes
Hepatitis B infection is caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV). The virus is passed from person to person through blood, semen or other body fluids.

  • Sexual contact. You may get hepatitis B if you have unprotected sex with someone who is infected.
  • Sharing of needles.
  • Accidental needle sticks.
  • Mother to child. Pregnant women infected with HBV can pass the virus to their babies during childbirth. However, the newborn can be vaccinated to avoid getting infected in almost all cases.

Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of hepatitis B range from mild to severe. Some people, usually young children, may not have any symptoms. Here are some possible symptoms.

  • Abdominal pain
  • Dark urine
  • Fever
  • Joint pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Yellowing of your skin and the whites of your eyes (jaundice)

If you know you’ve been exposed to hepatitis B, contact your doctor immediately.

Keywords: hepatitis b; hepatitis b information; hepatitis b+

* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.