What Is Hepatitis B?

Hepatitis is the inflammation of liver mainly caused by virus, drugs or alcohol. It can be sexually transmitted and so is taken under the heading of STDs.

HBV is a sexually transmitted virus and attacks liver by causing severe damage to it, even liver cancer.

People who carry HBV may have no symptoms but they can spread the virus through sexual contact, shared needles, blood transfusion from infected person, touching sores of infected person and from mother to fetus.

Even minute amount of blood from infected person can infect the normal person.

As told previously it is a liver disease characterized by the inflammation of the liver. The condition can be self-limiting or can progress to scarring, cirrhosis or liver cancer.

There are 5 main hepatitis viruses, referred to as types A, B, C, D and E. Hepatitis can heal on its own without any significant consequences or it can progress toward fibrosis.

Acute hepatitis last within six months while chronic hepatitis lasts longer. Acute hepatitis can be clearly removed from the body with complete recovery within a few months.

Chronic hepatitis may last for life time and cause serious illness. A person who is having hepatitis B can also be affected with hepatitis D.

How Can I Know If I Have Hepatitis B?

Hepatitis B is called as “silent infection” because it is in most of the cases remains asymptomatic and goes unchecked. But if there are symptoms in some individuals, they consider it just mild flu and don’t bother about the treatment.

It can be prove fatal if it leads to liver failure or severe liver damage.

The infected person experience fatigue, low grade fever, headache, vomiting, nausea, loss of appetite, skin rashes, joint pains or constipation and jaundice.

HBV can be checked through some blood tests say LFTs (liver function tests). If the disease becomes chronic liver biopsy is obtained. Raised levels of S.G.P.T & S.G.O.T in blood and billirubin amount in blood help detect HBV.

Is There a Cure for Hepatitis B?

No, there is no cure for hepatitis. I can go away on its own within a few weeks. If one founds to be infected one should take precautions and take care of the liver. Infected person should take plenty of rest, healthy food and plenty of fluids.

How Is Hepatitis B Spread?

Hepatitis B can spread through unprotected sexual contact with the infected person whose saliva, semen or blood enters the body of uninfected healthy person.

It can also be transmitted through shared needles, syringes contaminated with the blood of the infected person. Health care workers concerned with HBV testing are likely to get hepatitis B.

A pregnant woman infected with hepatitis B can pass the disease to the unborn child but the newborn can be vaccinated to prevent the risk for the disease.

How Can I Prevent Getting or Spreading Hepatitis B?

One can help preventing and getting hepatitis B if one gets vaccinated before getting the infection. Using condom during sexual contact, cover all open cuts or wounds, do not share razors, toothbrushes, manicuring tools, or pierced earrings with anyone.

Risk for hepatitis B increases if one have unprotected sex, infant to an infected mother, have a job that exposes one to human infected blood.

How Does the Hepatitis B Vaccine Work?

Vaccine helps to prevent infection from HBV. Hepatitis B vaccine is a genetically engineered piece of the virus. The virus is not alive because it can cause infection.

The vaccine works by helping the body produce immunity though antibody production. Vaccine is recommended for all age groups. The vaccine can only provide protection against HBV, it cannot protect against other viruses i.e., HCV, HIV etc.

Should I Get the Hepatitis B Vaccine? Should My Child Get It?

As previously told, people of all age groups can be vaccinated for hepatitis B, but make sure to get vaccinated before exposure to the infection. If you get the vaccination after exposure to the virus, it is going to be of no use.

Yes, if you are infected with hepatitis B virus and you are pregnant, your child will get it because it is easily transmittable disease.

How Safe Is the Hepatitis B Vaccine?

The Hepatitis B vaccine is considered one of the safest and most effective vaccines ever made. There isn’t any evidence found that the vaccine causes sudden infant deaths (SIDs), multiple sclerosis, or other neurological disorders.

The hepatitis B vaccine prevents liver cancer.

Can I Get Hepatitis from the Hepatitis B Vaccine?

There are currently two commercial vaccines used to surpass hepatitis B infection among newborns, children and adults. They are both generated using recombinant technology and neither contains blood products. One cannot get hepatitis B from these vaccines.

Can the Hepatitis B Vaccine Treat a Hepatitis Infection?

No, the hepatitis B vaccine cannot treat the infection but it can prevent the infection if given before the exposure to the disease.

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