Hepatitis B is a viral infection that attacks the liver and can cause both acute and chronic diseases. The virus is transmitted through contact with the blood or other body fluids of an infected person. It is a major global health problem and the most serious type of viral hepatitis.
Here are some key points about Hepatitis B:
- It can be transmitted through contact with the blood or other body fluids of an infected person.
- Common modes of transmission include mother-to-child during childbirth, unprotected sexual contact, sharing needles and syringes, and through infected blood products or organ transplants.
- Many people with Hepatitis B do not have symptoms, especially in the early stages.
- Symptoms, when they occur, may include jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes), dark urine, fatigue, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, and nausea.
- Acute vs. Chronic Infection:
- Acute Hepatitis B infection is a short-term illness that occurs within the first 6 months after someone is exposed to the virus. It can range in severity from a mild illness with few or no symptoms to a serious condition requiring hospitalization.
- Chronic Hepatitis B infection is a long-term illness that occurs when the virus remains in a person’s body. It can lead to severe complications such as cirrhosis of the liver and liver cancer.
- Hepatitis B is preventable through vaccination. The vaccine is typically administered in a series of shots.
- Practicing safe sex, avoiding sharing needles or personal items that could be contaminated with blood, and ensuring the safety of medical and dental procedures are also important preventive measures.