What to Know About Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is an infection of the liver that is quite similar to its better-known brother hepatitis C. Like hepatitis C; Hepatitis B can be acute or chronic. Acute hepatitis can resolve itself on its own, while chronic hepatitis will require treatment.

The different types have different standards for symptoms, so it’s important that you understand the difference between them. This is also necessary if you are hoping to manage your condition. This article will help you understand a hepatitis B and teach you how to manage the illness if you contract it.

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What is hepatitis B?


Hepatitis B is an illness that is caused by the Hepatitis B virus (HBV). This virus lives in the blood and other bodily fluids of the human body, which makes it fairly contagious. This means that it can be passed from person to person from mere bodily fluid contact, which makes it a serious hazard. It is a consistent problem in many areas of the globe.

The illness itself causes infections and inflammation of the liver. Many complications can arise because of hepatitis B, and yet some people contract the virus without seeing any symptoms whatsoever.

Some people don't notice any symptoms even if they have the disease for a long time. Some people only experience the first initial infection, and then the illness is eliminated thanks to the body's immune system.

Other people experience the condition chronically, where the virus repeatedly and continuously attacks the liver. The virus may or may not be detected, and if it is undetected, it's going to wreak havoc and could do irreversible damage to the liver.


How common is Hepatitis B?


Since HBV is located in the blood or other bodily fluids of a human being, so it can be spread relatively easy. It can even be passed on from person to person without either person being aware.

Hepatitis B is a huge problem worldwide, with nearly a million people dying from liver illnesses related to the disease in 2015 alone. Right now, between 1 and 2 million people in the United States are currently suffering from some form of hepatitis B infection.


How likely is it that Hepatitis B will become chronic?


The answer to this question is mostly dependent upon the age at which someone contracts the disease. The younger somebody is when they contract Hepatitis B, the higher their chance of having it progress into a chronic infection.

About 90% of infants who get Hepatitis B will have the condition develop into a chronic condition. This risk decreases, with around 25-50% of children between 1 and five years old developing chronic Hepatitis from an acute condition.

Over the age of 5 years old, the risk decreases to somewhere between 6-10%.


How is Hepatitis B spread?


Hepatitis B can be spread when blood, sperm, or other bodily fluids that are infected with the virus are transmitted to the body of another individual.

There are a lot of activities that can lead to transmission. Having a child can lead to the child contracting the infection, as can having sex with someone who is infected. Sharing needles with others who have the virus is a great way to get the disease.

You can also get it from sharing razors, toothbrushes or anything else that comes into contact with blood.


Can you spread Hepatitis B without being aware?


Absolutely. Since such a huge number of people with chronic hepatitis don't even know that they have the disease due to a lack of physical symptoms, they can spread the disease through sex or other methods without having any idea.


Who's most likely to develop Hepatitis B?


Anyone can get Hepatitis B, but there are certain groups of people who are more likely to catch the disease than others.

If your partner is infected or if you have sex with a lot of different partners, you're at a higher risk of contracting Hepatitis B. You are also much more likely to develop the disease if you live with someone who has Hepatitis B.

If you are a drug user and share your needles or other drug equipment with other users, you greatly increase the chance of developing Hepatitis C.

Traveling to countries with high rates of Hepatitis C increases the risk of the disease. As does working in a field that allows you to come into contact with blood.


What should I do if I think I'm infected?


If you're worried that you might have contracted Hepatitis B, you should get ahold of your doctor or another health professional. If you get the Hepatitis B vaccine within 24 hours, the infection might be entirely prevented.

Symptoms don't usually appear until at least six weeks after you're infected, though, so you should be careful. Symptoms can include fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, and pain in the joints.


What's the difference between the types of Hepatitis?


Hepatitis A, B, and C are all caused by different viruses, though they may exert similar symptoms. One of the main differences between these diseases is the way that they are transmitted and the way that they affect the liver.

Hepatitis B only ever arises as an acute or a new infection and won't become a chronic problem. Most people who get Hepatitis A can get better without treatment.

Hepatitis B and C can both begin as acute infections, but the virus is capable of remaining and becoming a chronic condition. Hepatitis B and C are known for their impact on the liver and the long-term damage they can cause to it.

Hepatitis A and B have vaccines, but Hepatitis C does not have one.

Information About Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C is a fairly common disease among adults in the United States. It's important to learn how you can manage the symptoms of hepatitis C...

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