Wednesday, September 21, 2022

How Can You Get Hepatitis A And B

If I Have No Symptoms How Would I Know If I Have Hepatitis B

The Truth about Hepatitis B

To confirm whether or not you have hepatitis B, you will need blood tests.

If you have at least one risk factor , you should ask your health care provider to be tested for hepatitis B. Also, you should be tested for hepatitis B if:

  • you were born in a region where hepatitis B is more common, including Asia, Africa, southern and eastern Europe, the Pacific Islands, the Middle East, and the Arctic
  • one or both of your parents immigrated from a region where hepatitis B is more common
  • you live or travel to regions where hepatitis B is more common
  • you have a family history of liver disease or liver cancer
  • you have been in prison
  • you are pregnant
  • you have ever used injection drugs, even just once
  • you have unexplained abnormal liver enzymes or if
  • you receive medicines that suppress the immune system.

Vaccination For Hepatitis A And Hepatitis B

Vaccines for hepatitis A and hepatitis B are the most effective preventive measures against those viruses. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended these vaccines for all babies as part of routine healthcare since the 1990s.

The vaccine can be administered to people of any age. If you were not vaccinated as a baby, it is fine to be vaccinated now. Vaccination provides long-term protection from infection.

Even if you have recently been exposed to the virus, the vaccine may prevent infection. Ideally, vaccination takes place within 24 hours of a possible exposure.

There is no vaccine for hepatitis C. Our doctors recommend adopting certain behaviorssuch as avoiding shared needles and other risk factorsto prevent infection.

Can Hepatitis B Be Treated

If you know you have been exposed to the hepatitis B virus in the previous seven days or less, you can receive an injection of hepatitis B immune globulin that may prevent you from developing the disease. Besides this, there is no treatment for acute hepatitis B.

If you have chronic hepatitis B, two types of treatment exist interferon which is a medication administered by a needle, and antiviral medicines that are taken by mouth. Current approved hepatitis B oral medications include lamivudine, adefovir, telbivudine, tenofovir, and entecavir. These treatments do not provide a cure, but they offer control of the virus so that further damage to your liver can be prevented. When and how to treat your hepatitis B is a decision between you and your doctor. Availability of the medications listed above may vary from province to province based on provincial government drug plans and individual insurance plans.

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How Is This Vaccine Given

This vaccine is given as an injection into a muscle. You will receive this injection in a doctor’s office or other clinic setting.

The hepatitis A and B vaccine is given in a series of 3 shots. The booster shots are given 1 month and 6 months after the first shot.

If you have a high risk of hepatitis infection, you may be given 3 shots within 30 days, and a fourth shot 12 months after the first.

Your individual booster schedule may be different from these guidelines. Follow your doctor’s instructions or the schedule recommended by the health department of the state you live in.

Preventing Hepatitis A B & C

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The three most common types of hepatitis, a disease characterized by inflammation of the liver, are those caused by the hepatitis A, B, and C viruses. All viral types are contagiousthat is, they can be spread from one person to anotheralthough the methods of transmission vary.

NYU Langone doctors recommend specific preventive steps for each type to limit your risk of acquiring or spreading infection.

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Will My Immunization Be Recorded

Your immunization records are registered in a computerized network known as the Immunization Records and Yellow Cards. While this one is specific to Ontario, each province has their own.

They can use information obtained in these databases to:

  • Maintain immunization data
  • Inform you whether or when you or your family members need an immunization
  • Track how well vaccinations perform to prevent vaccine-preventable infections

You can also share your immunization history with health care providers for the provision of social health services to aid with assessment and treatment and monitor the spread of infectious illnesses.

How Much Does A Hepatitis B Titer Test Cost

The cost of a hepatitis B test varies based on where you get the test. Prices range from roughly $24 to $110.

Your insurance may cover some or all of the cost. Under the Affordable Care Act, all new health plans must cover preventative services including hepatitis B vaccination and testing without a deductible or copay.

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Who Should Receive Twinrix

According to Canadian medical advice, the vaccine is required for all those seeking to minimize their hepatitis A and B infection risk. Twinrix is used for vaccinating adults, teenagers, youngsters and babies above one year of age.

In specific, vaccination against hepatitis A is suggested for:

  • Travellers to countries or areas with a risk for hepatitis A
  • The Canadian armed forces, emergency organization, or any other organization likely to be sent at short notice to high-risk areas for hepatitis A
  • Zoo workers, veterinarians, and researchers
  • People diagnosed with liver disease
  • Hemophiliacs

Hepatitis B vaccination is prescribed for those who:

  • Travellers to countries or areas with a risk for hepatitis B
  • Nurses, including medical students
  • People in contact with someone with hepatitis B
  • People who use medication through injections
  • Hemophiliacs
  • Immigrants and students coming to Canada

Hepatitis C: What Happens

Hepatitis A and B

About 25% of people who get hepatitis C defeat the virus after a short-term infection. The rest will carry the virus in their body for the long term. Chronic hepatitis C can cause very serious complications, including liver failure and liver cancer. There are effective treatments for the virus, though.

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What Is Hepatitis A And B Vaccine

Hepatitis A and B are serious diseases caused by virus.

Hepatitis A is spread through contact with the stool of a person infected with the hepatitis A virus. This usually occurs by eating food or drinking water that has become contaminated as a result of handling by an infected person.

Hepatitis B is spread through blood or bodily fluids, sexual contact or sharing IV drug needles with an infected person, or during childbirth when a baby is born to a mother who is infected.

Hepatitis causes inflammation of the liver, vomiting, and jaundice . Hepatitis can lead to liver cancer, cirrhosis, or death.

The hepatitis A and B vaccine is used to help prevent these diseases in adults. The vaccine works by exposing you to a small dose of the virus, which causes the body to develop immunity to the disease. This vaccine will not treat an active infection that has already developed in the body.

This vaccine is recommended for adults with risk factors for getting hepatitis A or B, including:

Like any vaccine, the hepatitis A and B vaccine may not provide protection from disease in every person.

Hepatitis A And International Travel

Who should receive protection against hepatitis A virus before travel?

All susceptible people traveling to or working in countries that have high or intermediate HAV endemicity are at increased risk for HAV infection. These travelers should be vaccinated or receive immune globulin before departure . For more information on international travel and hepatitis A, see CDCs travel page or ACIP updated recommendations on Prevention of Hepatitis A after Exposure to Hepatitis A Virus and in International Travelers.

How soon before international travel should the first dose of hepatitis A vaccine be given?

All unvaccinated people 12 months of age planning travel to an area with high or intermediate HAV endemicity should receive a single dose of vaccine as soon as travel is considered they should then complete the vaccine series with the appropriate dose and schedule. People traveling within 2 weeks should receive the initial dose of hepatitis A vaccine before departure and also simultaneously may be administered IG at a separate anatomic injection site for additional short-term protection . The hepatitis A vaccine series should be completed according to the routine schedule. Information on immune globulin dosing and additional information on hepatitis A vaccine and travel is available.

What should be done to protect international travelers < 6 months of age and other travelers unable to receive hepatitis A vaccine?

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Can Hepatitis B Be Controlled By Eating Right And Exercising

It is important that people with liver disease follow a healthy, nutritious diet as outlined by Health Canada in Eating Well with Canadas Food Guide.

Alcohol can also damage the liver so it is best that people with hepatitis B do not drink. Following a healthy lifestyle may also prevent fatty liver disease, another liver disease highly prevalent in Canada.

However, hepatitis B cannot be controlled by healthy eating and exercise alone. Hepatitis B can only be controlled by currently available treatment as prescribed by your doctor. Your doctor will need to do regular blood tests to know how much of the active virus is in your blood . The viral load test is used to monitor and manage hepatitis B patients. Viral load can tell your doctor if you need treatment for hepatitis B and how well you are responding to treatment.

Postexposure Prophylaxis For Hepatitis A

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What are the current CDC guidelines for postexposure protection against hepatitis A?

Hepatitis A vaccine should be administered as soon as possible, within 2 weeks of exposure, to all unvaccinated people aged 12 months who have recently been exposed to hepatitis A virus . In addition to hepatitis A vaccine, co-administration of GamaSTAN S/D immune globulin is recommended under certain circumstances according to age and health status of the exposed person.

Should patrons of an establishment implicated in an outbreak of hepatitis A receive postexposure prophylaxis ?

Because common-source transmission to patrons is unlikely, PEP administration to patrons is typically not indicated. However, PEP may be considered for those patrons potentially exposed to a symptomatic food handler if a) the food handler directly handled uncooked or cooked foods without gloves AND had diarrhea or poor hygienic practices and b) the patron can be identified and treated within 2 weeks of exposure, though the risk to these patrons still remains low .

In settings in which repeated exposures to hepatitis A virus might have occurred , consideration of PEP use is warranted. PEP in this scenario should generally consist of vaccination for all age groups, though immune globulin may be considered for exposed people who are immunocompromised or have chronic liver disease.

What should be done when a case of hepatitis A is found in a setting providing services to children or adults ?

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How Can I Avoid Getting Hepatitis B

There is a safe and effective vaccine that can protect you from getting hepatitis B. The vaccine is usually given in three doses over a six month period. The vaccine will give you long-lasting protection. A combined vaccine for hepatitis A and hepatitis B is also available.

Other ways to protect yourself or your loved ones include:

  • Adopt safe sex practices.
  • Avoid sharing personal hygiene items
  • If you have been exposed to the hepatitis B virus , an injection of hepatitis B immune globulin may help protect you.
  • If you are pregnant, make sure you are screened for hepatitis B. If the test result shows that you have the virus, make sure your baby receives the free hepatitis B vaccine. If you have hepatitis B, breastfeeding is safe if the baby has received both protective antibody called immune globulin, and the first dose of hepatitis B vaccine within the first 12 hours of life. Talk to your doctor about having your newborn immunized .
  • If you decide to have a tattoo, piercing, manicure or pedicure, ensure that the facility uses single-use needles and inks and/or follows proper sterilization procedures.

What Are The Symptoms Of Hepatitis A And B

Not all infected adults will experience symptoms. That means you could contract hepatitis A or B, and spread the viruses to others, without realizing it.

Symptoms of hepatitis A may include*:

Fever

Jaundice

Loss of appetite

Dark urine

Fatigue

* TWINRIX is not indicated to treat the symptoms of, or reduce serious consequences associated with hepatitis A and B.

Possible consequences of hepatitis A.*Hepatitis A infection can have mild to severe consequences on infected individuals that can last from a few weeks to several months.

Chronic hepatitis and carrier states are not linked with hepatitis A infection.

However, relapsing hepatitis, a condition where a person gets worse again after a period of improvement, can last up to a year in 15% of cases.

While most infected people recover, the older you are, the more severe hepatitis A can be.

Approximately 25% of infected adults are hospitalized.

The overall case fatality rate, which is the proportion of deaths among the number of hepatitis A cases, is approximately 0.5%, but can reach 2.6% in adults over 60 years of age.

* TWINRIX is not indicated to treat the symptoms of, or reduce serious consequences associated with hepatitis A and B.

Symptoms of hepatitis B may include*:

Fatigue

Jaundice

Loss of appetite

Dark urine

Clay-coloured stool

* TWINRIX is not indicated to treat the symptoms of, or reduce serious consequences associated with hepatitis A and B.

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Preparation And Use Of Drugs

Washing hands and using sterile water to prepare and use drugs lower the risk of catching hepatitis A. The use of new paraphernalia for the preparation, injection and inhalation of drugs lowers the risk of catching hepatitis B and C through blood.

Never share drug paraphernalia. To know the location of distribution points for drug injecting material, call Info-Santé 811.

The Hepatitis Virus Is An Infection That Causes Liver Inflammation

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The disease comes in numerous strains, including hepatitis A, B, C, D and E, all differing in terms of how they can be contracted as well as how they affect the body. In addition to liver inflammation, the virus can also cause irreparable liver damage, meaning that this vital organ is unable to function normally. If left untreated, a hepatitis infection can cause chronic liver inflammation that may result in liver cirrhosis and place the sufferer at a greater risk of developing liver cancer.

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Hepatitis A & B Combination Vaccine

Hepatitis A & B combination vaccineHepatitis A & B Quick facts4 doses 0, 7, 2130 days and 12 months apart at least 21 days prior to travel

  • Hepatitis A and B are two viruses that affect your liver’s ability to function.

    Hepatitis A is usually spread through ingesting contaminated food or water or close contact with an infected person. The hepatitis A virus can cause a flu-like illness, a yellowing of the skin or eyes along with severe stomach pains and diarrhea.

    Hepatitis B is a highly contagious, serious liver disease caused by the hepatitis B virus. It spreads through contact with the blood or other body fluids of an infected person, including contact with objects that could have blood or body fluids on them such as toothbrushes and razors. It can cause a short-term flu-like illness, or long-term infection that can lead to liver damage, liver cancer or death. Babies and young children infected with hepatitis B are more likely to get this chronic form of the disease.

  • The hepatitis A & B combination vaccine contains both hepatitis A and hepatitis B vaccines to prevent these two forms of hepatitis. Its administered either as 3 doses over 6-month period or 3 shots administered over 1 month with the addition of a booster shot after 1 year.

    Learn more about the hepatitis A & B vaccines from the CDC:

What Is The Treatment For Hepatitis

Each type of hepatitis is treated differently.

Hepatitis A often goes away on its own and home treatment is all that is needed to help the liver recover, such as:

  • Rest
  • Avoiding alcohol
  • Avoiding certain medicines that can be harmful to the liver

Hepatitis B often goes away on its own in about 6 months, and can also be treated at home with the above remedies. Other treatments for hepatitis B include:

Treatment for hepatitis C is effective on certain forms of the hepatitis C virus. The choice of medications depends on the type of hepatitis C you have, whether you have been treated for the illness before, how much liver damage has occurred, any other underlying medical issues, and other medicines you take. Treatment for hepatitis C usually involves 8 to 12 weeks of oral antiviral medications, such as:

  • Elbasvir-grazoprevir
  • Sofosbuvir-velpatasvir-voxilaprevir

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What If You Test Positive

If a test says you have viral hepatitis, you can take steps to protect the ones you love. For hepatitis A, wash hands frequently. For hepatitis B and C, avoid sharing nail clippers, razors, or toothbrushes. Hepatitis B, and sometimes hepatitis C, can be passed through sexual contact. Make sure everyone in your household gets the hepatitis B vaccine. An important step is to see a specialist to discuss treatment options.

Where Can I Get More Detailed Information On How To Live With Hepatitis B

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More detailed information can be found in the Canadian Liver Foundations Healthy Living with Viral Hepatitis booklet, including:

  • What to expect if you have hepatitis B
  • The different types of blood tests and what they measure
  • How to prepare for an appointment with your doctor
  • What choices to make to prevent additional damage to your liver
  • Who needs to know if you have hepatitis B and how to tell them
  • How to recognize and deal with symptoms
  • How to find financial assistance
  • What questions to ask when considering alternative therapies.

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