WHAT IS HEPATITIS B?
Hepatitis B is a serious liver infection that causes inflammation that can lead to liver damage. Hepatitis B, also called HBV and Hep B, can cause cirrhosis, liver cancer and even death.
WHAT ARE THE TYPES OF HEPATITIS B?
There are two types of hepatitis B infection: acute and chronic.
Acute - An acute infection happens at the beginning, when you first get infected with hepatitis B. Many people are able to clear it from their bodies and recover. In fact, this is true of about 4 in 5 adults who are infected.
Chronic - If you are not able to clear the infection within six months or longer, you have chronic hepatitis B. It is chronic hepatitis B that leads to inflammation and the serious, and possibly fatal, illnesses of cirrhosis of the liver and liver cancer.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF HEPATITIS B?
Some people who are infected never feel sick. Others who are newly infected have symptoms that last for several weeks. Symptoms may be minor or intense and may include:
- Achy muscles or joints
- Stomach pain
- Loss of appetite
- Mild fever
- Lack of energy
- Having yellow skin or eyes
- Being sick to your stomach
- Brown urine
HOW IS HEPATITIS B SPREAD?
You can become infected with hepatitis B through exposure to blood, semen and other bodily fluids of an infected person. You can get the infection by:
- Having unprotected sex.
- Sharing or using dirty needles for drug use, tattoos or piercing.
- Sharing everyday items that may contain body fluids, including razors, toot
- Being bitten by someone with the infection.
- Being born to a pregnant woman with the infection.
Hepatitis B is not spread by:
- Kissing on the cheek or lips.
- Coughing or sneezing.
- Hugging, shaking hands or holding hands.
- Eating food that someone with the infection has prepared.
HOW IS HEPATITIS B DIAGNOSED?
There are three main ways to diagnose HBV infection. They include:
- Blood tests
- Abdominal ultrasound
- Liver biopsy