Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B (HBV) is one type of viral hepatitis. With hepatitis, the liver does not work well. In most people, HBV gets better on its own. Long lasting hepatitis (chronic) can lead to scarring of the liver, liver failure, and liver cancer. Chronic HBV can be suppressed with some antiviral drugs. But these drugs don’t work for all people. Vaccines are available for hepatitis A and B.

How you get it

HBV is spread by exposure to an infected person’s blood. This can happen by having vaginal, anal, or oral sex with someone who is infected.
It also can be passed from an infected mother to her baby during vaginal childbirth or through sharing needles with an infected person.
You also can get HBV by sharing personal items, such as razors or toothbrushes, with an infected person. You cannot get hepatitis through casual contact, such as shaking hands, hugging, or kissing.


Some people with viral hepatitis have no signs of infection.
Others might have:
• Low-grade fever.
• Headache.
• Muscle aches.
• Tiredness.
• Loss of appetite.
• Nausea.
• Vomiting.
• Diarrhea.
• Dark-colored urine and pale bowel movements.
• Jaundice.

How to find out if you have it

Your doctor can tell if you have viral hepatitis through blood tests and a medical exam.
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