HepatitisB

Hepatitis B is a vaccine preventable liver infection caused by the Hepatitis B virus (HBV) that's spread through blood and body fluids. It is a serious disease that symptoms your liver to become inflamed. For some people, hepatitis B is a short-term illness, but for others, it can become a long-term, chronic infection. Untreated chronic hepatitis B can later develop into serious health problems.

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What Are The Symptoms?

Fever

Fatigue

Loss of appetite

Nausea and Vomiting

Abdominal pain

Dark urine

Clay-colored bowel movements

Joint pain

Jaundice (yellow colour in the skin or the eyes)

How does it spread?

The hepatitis B virus is spread through blood, semen, or other body fluid of an infected person. People can become infected with the virus from:

Birth (spread from an infected mother to her baby during birth)

Sex with an infected partner

Sharing needles, syringes, or drug preparation equipment

Sharing items such as toothbrushes, razors or medical equipment such as a glucose monitor with an infected person

What are the complications?

  • Cirrhosis or scarring of the liver

  • Liver cancer

  • Liver failure

  • Kidney disease

  • Blood vessel problems

What should I know About Influenza Vaccine?

  • What is hepatitis B immune globulin (HBIG)?

    Hepatitis B immune globulin is a substance made from human blood samples that contains antibodies against the hepatitis B virus. It is given as a shot to people exposed to the hepatitis B virus that can protect them from infection. HBIG is given to infants born to hepatitis B infected mothers along with the hepatitis B vaccine within 12 hours of birth, which has been shown to protect them from being infected.


  • What is the likelihood that acute hepatitis B will become chronic?

    The likelihood that hepatitis B will develop from an acute infection into a chronic infection depends on the age of the person infected. The younger a person is when infected with hepatitis B virus, the greater the chance of developing a chronic infection


  • If I have been infected with the hepatitis B virus in the past, can I get it again?

    If you have been infected with hepatitis B in the past and cleared the virus, you cannot get infected again. Once you clear the hepatitis B virus, you have antibodies that protect you for life from getting infected again.


  • Is it harmful to have an extra dose of hepatitis B vaccine or to repeat the entire hepatitis B vaccine series?

    No, getting extra doses of hepatitis B vaccine is not harmful.


  • Can a person spread hepatitis B without having symptoms?

    Yes. Many people with acute or chronic hepatitis B have no symptoms but can still spread the virus.


  • If a pregnant woman has hepatitis B, is there a way to prevent her baby from getting it?

    Yes, almost all cases of hepatitis B can be prevented if a baby born to an infected woman receives the necessary shots at the recommended times


Myths Vs Facts

  • Myth: There is no treatment available for chronic hepatitis B.

    Fact: The disease is not curable, but it is manageable. Chronic HBV can be treated with a number of effective medications that can suppress, slow or reverse the impact on the liver.

  • Myth: “I was told I am a ‘healthy carrier’ for hepatitis B so I don’t need to worry”.

    Fact: People living with hepatitis B might look healthy, but they still live with the virus and therefore they should visit a liver specialist every 6-12 months for check-ups.

  • Myth: It is not safe to breastfeed if one has Hep B

    Fact: Hepatitis B cannot be transmitted to the baby through breast milk. Vaccination of the new-born will reduce any risk of mother to child transmission.

  • Myth: I got hepatitis B. I was told I can’t get married or have kids.

    Fact: There is no reason why you could not get married or have a family, though it is strongly recommended that those close to you are vaccinated.

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