Treatments For Chronic Hbv Infection
Family physicians should become familiar with the evaluation of patients with newly diagnosed HBV infection, including the recommended laboratory work-up .9 The decision to treat chronic HBV generally is based on a combination of clinical, laboratory, and histologic factors .9,16
|Laboratory studies to assess liver disease: aspartate transaminase, alanine transaminase, bilirubin, and albumin levels complete blood count prothrombin time tests for anti-HBc, anti-HDV, HBeAg, anti-HBe, anti-HCV, HBV DNA level, anti-HAV alpha-fetoprotein level|
|Human immunodeficiency virus serology|
|Liver biopsy to grade and stage disease|
|Assessment for other sexually transmitted diseases|
|Assessment for family history of hepatocellular carcinoma|
|Counseling: safe sexual practices, abstinence from alcohol|
|Serologic testing for hepatitis A|
|Testing of sexual and household contacts|
Treatments are not curative because they rarely produce permanent remission of the disease. Therefore, the goals of therapy are long-term suppression of viral replication and prevention of end-stage liver disease.16 Markers of successful therapy include HBeAg seroconversion, decreased or undetectable levels of HBV DNA, and lack of disease progression.
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Hepatitis B Treatment Is There A Cure
Normally acute Hepatitis B does not require special treatment and the majority of adults clear the virus spontaneously. Early treatment may be required only in less than 1% of infected people who are immunocompromised or whose infection takes an aggressive course.
Its very important to maintain comfort, avoid alcohol, keep to a balanced diet, and replace body fluids lost from diarrhea and vomiting. On the other hand, chronic hepatitis B can be treated with medicines, including antiviral agents. Treatment can help to reduce the risk of cirrhosis and liver cancer.
Chronic Hepatitis B is usually a mild disease among children. Most of them can live full and healthy lives without visible symptoms. However, in some children the virus can cause significant liver damage. They will require medical treatment and intervention. All children suffering from chronic hepatitis B infection should be seen by a liver specialist on a regular basis. During the visits its necessary to take blood tests, physical exams and sometimes ultrasounds of the liver.
What Is Hbv Treatment
Not everyone infected with HBV will need treatment. Doctors usually only recommend treatment if the virus is damaging your liver.
Antivirals: These are oral medications that make it hard for HBV to reproduce, but they usually work for only as long as you take them. They are able to lower the amount of HBV in your body and stop liver damage in about 70% to 90% of patients. Unfortunately, these treatments cannot cure hepatitis B to date.
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Who Is Most Affected
In the United States, rates of new HBV infections are highest among adults aged 30-59 years, reflecting low hepatitis B vaccination coverage among adults at risk. The most common risk factor among people with new HBV infections is injecting drugs, related to the opioid crisis and other drug use.
The highest rates of chronic hepatitis B infection in the United States occur among foreign-born individuals, especially people born in Asia, the Pacific Islands, and Africa. Approximately 70% of cases in the United States are among people who were born outside of the United States. CDC developed this map of the geographic distribution of hepatitis B around the world – PDF. Other groups who have higher rates of chronic HBV infection include people who inject drugs and men who have sex with men.
Hepatitis B Surface Antigen Test
A hepatitis B surface antigen test shows if you have an active infection. A positive result means you have hepatitis B and can transmit the virus to others. A negative result means you dont currently have hepatitis B.
This test doesnt distinguish between chronic and acute infection. This test is used together with other hepatitis B tests to determine the state of a hepatitis B infection.
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Hepatitis B In The United States
In the United States, about 862,000 people have chronic hepatitis B.6 Asian Americans and African Americans have higher rates of chronic hepatitis B than other U.S. racial and ethnic groups.10 Researchers estimate that about half of the people living with chronic hepatitis B in the United States are Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.11 Chronic hepatitis B is also more common among people born in other countries than among those born in the United States.7
The hepatitis B vaccine has been available since the 1980s and, in 1991, doctors began recommending that children in the United States receive the hepatitis B vaccine. The annual rate of acute hepatitis B infections went down 88.5 percent between 1982 and 2015.12 In 2017, the annual number of hepatitis B infections rose in some states.13 Experts think the rise was related to increases in injection drug use. Injection drug use increases the risk of hepatitis B infection.
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What Are The Most Common Signs And Symptoms Of Hepatitis C
It sounds strange, but there really are no symptoms of hep C. In fact, about half of people with hep C dont even know theyre infected, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Those who do have symptoms may experience minor issues like fatigue and muscle aches, which can be chalked up to any number of reasons, like an intense workout or just life in general. But because these symptoms are so ubiquitous, theyre easy to miss, and you likely wouldnt associate them with hep C.
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Who’s Most At Risk Of Hepatitis B
People at highest risk of hepatitis B include:
- people born or brought up in a country where the infection is common
- babies born to mothers infected with hepatitis B
- people who have ever injected drugs
- close contacts, such as family members, of someone with long-term hepatitis B infection
The risk of getting hepatitis B for travellers going to places where the infection is common is generally considered to be low if the activities mentioned above are avoided.
Your GP can arrange for you to have a blood test to check for hepatitis B and have the hepatitis B vaccination if you’re at a high risk.
Living With Hepatitis B
If you have hepatitis, you should:
- avoid sharing needles used to inject drugs with other people
- take precautions to avoid the spread of infection such as not sharing toothbrushes or razors with other people close contacts such as family members may need to be vaccinated
- eat a generally healthy, balanced diet there’s no special diet for people with hepatitis B
- avoid drinking alcohol this can increase your risk of developing serious liver problems
- speak to your doctor if you’re thinking of having a baby
People with hepatitis B can usually have a healthy pregnancy, but it’s a good idea to discuss your plans with a doctor first as you may need extra care and your medications may need to be changed.
There’s a risk of pregnant women with hepatitis B passing the infection on to their child around the time of the birth, but this risk can be reduced by ensuring the baby is vaccinated shortly after they’re born.
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Joint Pain And Swelling
Joint pain and swelling are some of the most common symptoms of Hepatitis B. The joint pain can come on suddenly and last for several weeks or months. It may be mild, moderate, or severe, depending on the patients age, overall health, and other diseases.
Joint pain and swelling are more common in adults than in children infected with the Hepatitis B virus. However, joint pain has been reported in children infected with the virus and adults who were previously healthy without a history of liver disease or other autoimmune disorders before being diagnosed with Hepatitis B infection.
The pain usually starts in the larger joints of the body, such as the knees, elbows, and hips. However, it can also affect other joints, such as the hands and feet. In some cases, joint pain may accompany muscle tenderness or stiffness.
How Do You Prevent Hepatitis C
Researchers have yet to develop a vaccine that prevents hepatitis C .
Just as you might not know you have hepatitis C, other people with the condition may not know they have it, either. But you can take a few key precautions to avoid contracting it:
- Avoid sharing needles.
- When getting piercings or tattoos, check to make sure the piercer or tattoo artist uses only sterile, unopened needles and ink.
- Avoid sharing nail clippers, razors, and toothbrushes.
- Use sterile gloves when caring for someone elses wound.
Since hepatitis C is transmitted through blood, you wont get it by sharing food and drinks with someone who has the condition or by hugging, touching, or holding hands.
Hepatitis C is not commonly transmitted through sexual contact. But using a condom or another barrier method when having sex can always help lower your chances of contracting a sexually transmitted infection.
Keep in mind that you can contract hepatitis C again, even if youve had it already.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Having Hepatitis B
A majority of adults develop symptoms from acute hepatitis B virus infection however, young children often do not. Symptoms, when they occur, may include:
- Nausea and Vomiting
- Abdominal pain near the liver
On average, symptoms appear three months after exposure to the virus, but they can appear anywhere between six weeks and six months. Symptoms usually last for a few weeks, but can last up to six months. Most adults infected with hepatitis B virus recover fully even if their signs and symptoms are severe.
Some of the people who go on to develop chronic hepatitis B virus have ongoing symptoms similar to acute hepatitis B virus, but most people with chronic Hepatitis B remain symptom free for 20 or 30 years.
If you think you have signs of symptoms of Hepatitis B, contact your doctor.
Blood Tests For Hepatitis B
If you test positive for the hepatitis B surface antigen , you have HBV in your blood. You have a chronic infection if you test positive for HBsAg consistently for at least 6 months.
If you test negative for HBsAg but positive for the hepatitis B surface antibody , you are protected from HBV because youve received the vaccine or recovered from an acute infection.
Another test to detect acute hepatitis B looks for the IgG antibody to hepatitis B core antigen .
Testing positive for the antibody to this antigen the hepatitis B core antibody means either that youre currently infected with HBV, or that you were in the past, depending on the results of the HBsAg and anti-HBs tests.
The hepatitis B e antigen can only be found in the blood during an active infection and signifies high levels of the virus .
On the other hand, having the hepatitis B e antibody means that you have chronic hepatitis B but low levels of the virus, and thus a lower risk of complications.
Unlike these antigen and antibody tests, the hepatitis B viral DNA test can directly detect the presence of the viruss DNA in your blood.
Remember that only your doctor can interpret the results of your tests.
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Hepatitis A: How Does It Spread
It usually spreads through food or water. Food can be tainted when its touched by a person with hepatitis who did not wash their hands after using the bathroom. This transfers tiny amounts of infected stool to the food. Raw shellfish, fruits, vegetables, and undercooked foods are common culprits in hepatitis A outbreaks. The virus can also spread in daycare centers if employees arent careful about washing hands after changing diapers.
After Having Covid How Long Do I Need To Wait To Get Vaccinated
You should wait until 10 days after symptoms started or, if you didnt have symptoms, 10 days after your test was positive. This to ensure that you dont spread COVID-19 to others.
If you recently had COVID-19, you may consider delaying your next COVID-19 vaccine by 3 months from when your symptoms started or when you received a positive test.
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How Is Hepatitis B Transmitted
Hepatitis B is spread in several distinct ways: sexual contact sharing needles, syringes, or other drug-injection equipment or from mother-to-child at birth.
In the United States, in 2018, injection drug use was the most common risk factor reported among people with an acute HBV infection, followed by having multiple sex partners. Less commonly reported risk factors included accidental needle sticks, surgery, transfusions, and household contact with a person with HBV infection. In the United States, healthcare-related transmission of HBV is rare.
Mother-to-child transmission of HBV is especially concerning, because it is preventable. An estimated 25,000 infants are born to mothers diagnosed with HBV each year in the United States, and approximately 1,000 mothers transmit HBV to their infants. Without appropriate medical care and vaccinations, 90% of HBV-infected newborns will develop chronic infection, remaining infected throughout their lives. Up to 25% of people infected at birth will die prematurely of HBV-related causes. For this reason, the standard of care for pregnant women includes an HBV test during each pregnancy so that the appropriate steps can be taken to prevent HBV-positive mothers from transmitting the disease to her infant.
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What Is Hepatitis B
Hepatitis B is a liver infection caused by the hepatitis B virus. It can cause long lasting liver damage.
Hepatitis B can be acute or chronic. If a person has acute hepatitis B, the virus makes them sick for a short time , then their body clears the virus and they recover.
If the infection last for more than 6 months, it is called chronic hepatitis. Chronic hepatitis is a lifelong illness.
Vaccination can prevent hepatitis B.
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How Do Doctors Treat Hepatitis B
Doctors typically dont treat hepatitis B unless it becomes chronic. Doctors may treat chronic hepatitis B with antiviral medicines that attack the virus.
Not everyone with chronic hepatitis B needs treatment. If blood tests show that hepatitis B could be damaging a persons liver, a doctor may prescribe antiviral medicines to lower the chances of liver damage and complications.
Medicines that you take by mouth include
A medicine that doctors can give as a shot is peginterferon alfa-2a .
The length of treatment varies. Hepatitis B medicines may cause side effects. Talk with your doctor about the side effects of treatment. Tell your doctor before taking any other prescription or over-the-counter medicines.
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Do I Need An Additional Dose
According to the CDC, if you have a weakened immune system, you are at increased risk of severe COVID-19 illness and death. Additionally, your immune response to COVID-19 vaccination may not be as strong as in people who are not immunocompromised. Most people 6 months and older who have compromised immune systems can get three doses of vaccine for their initial series, as well as a dose of the updated vaccine that protects against variants. The timing and need for additional or updated doses depend on a persons age and which vaccine they get. Get detailed information on COVID-19 vaccines for people with compromised immune systems on the CDCs website.
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Diagnosis Of Hepatitis B
Blood tests are available to determine if you are or have been infected with hepatitis B. It may take 6 months from the time of infection before a blood test can detect antibodies to hepatitis B, so follow-up testing may be required. During this 6-month period, until you know whether you are infected or not, take action to prevent potential infection of other people.
There are also tests that can assess liver damage from hepatitis B. The interpretation of these tests can be complicated and specialist advice is needed, so talk to your doctor.
All pregnant women are tested for hepatitis B. If you are found to have chronic hepatitis B, your doctor can help reduce the risk of transferring the infection to your newborn child.
What Is The Outlook For People With Hepatitis B
The outlook for people with HBV is better now than ever before. You are certainly able to live a full life and help yourself stay healthy. You should make sure to have regular check-ups with a healthcare provider who is qualified to treat hepatitis B, possibly a liver doctor.
Make sure you are vaccinated against hepatitis A. Check with your healthcare provider or pharmacist before taking other medications or over-the-counter products, including supplements and natural products. These could interfere with your medication or damage your liver. For instance, taking acetaminophen in large doses may harm your liver.
Follow the usual guidelines for living a healthy life:
- Eat nutritious foods, choosing from a variety of vegetables, fruits and healthy proteins. It is said that cruciferous vegetables are especially good at protecting the liver.
- Exercise regularly.
- Dont smoke and dont drink. Both tobacco and alcohol are bad for your liver.
- Do things that help you cope with stress, like journaling, talking with others, meditating and doing yoga.
- Avoid inhaling toxic fumes.
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