Hepatitis B is a grave viral infection that damages the liver. The virus, recognized as hepatitis B virus (HBV), can end up causing lifelong infection, cirrhosis (liver scarring), liver cancer, liver failure, and death.
Hepatitis B vaccine is available for people of all ages. The hepatitis B vaccine is recommended for all newborns, children and teenagers under the age of 19 who have not been vaccinated, adults aged between 19 to 59, and individuals 60 and older who have risk factors for hepatitis B infection. Adults aged 60 and up with no known risk factors for hepatitis B may also receive the vaccine.
Hepatitis A, B, and C are three different viruses that cause liver infections. Although they can cause similar symptoms, they spread in different ways and have different effects on the liver. Hepatitis A is typically a temporary infection. Hepatitis B and C can also begin as short-term infections, but the virus can remain in the body and cause chronic, or lifelong, infection in some people. There are vaccines available for preventing hepatitis A and B; however, there is no vaccine available to avoid hepatitis C.
How is hepatitis B transmitted?
Hepatitis B is transmitted when infected blood, sperm, or other body fluid enters the body of someone who is not infected or has not been immunized against the hepatitis B virus. People can become infected with the virus through the following:
What are the Symptoms
Symptoms of acute hepatitis B are:
If symptoms appear, they typically show 90 days (or 3 months) after virus exposure, but they can appear at any time between 8 weeks and 5 months after exposure. They generally last a few weeks, but some people can be sick for up to six months.
Getting vaccinated is the most effective way to prevent hepatitis B. Hepatitis B vaccination is both safe and effective. To be fully protected, you must obtain all shots in the series.
FACT from World Health Organization: