Friday, November 25, 2022

How Do You Contract Hepatitis B

Undercooked And Raw Shellfish

How Do You Get Hepatitis B?

Shellfish are animals that filter the water from their surroundings. Because of this, they can become contaminated with hepatitis A virus if they are grown in polluted waters. To be safe, cook shellfish thoroughly before eating it. Undercooked shellfish like oysters, mussels, and clams may harbor and transmit hepatitis A. You may prefer the taste of raw oysters, but cooked shellfish really is safer. Protect your health and skip the raw oyster bar.

How Do Doctors Treat The Complications Of Hepatitis B

If chronic hepatitis B leads to cirrhosis, you should see a doctor who specializes in liver diseases. Doctors can treat the health problems related to cirrhosis with medicines, minor medical procedures, and surgery. If you have cirrhosis, you have an increased chance of liver cancer. Your doctor may order blood tests and an ultrasound or another type of imaging test to check for liver cancer.

If chronic hepatitis B leads to liver failure or liver cancer, you may need a liver transplant.

Hiv And Hepatitis B And Hepatitis C Coinfection

Hepatitis B and hepatitis C are liver infections caused by a virus. Because these infections can be spread in the same ways as HIV, people with HIV in the United States are often also affected by chronic viral hepatitis.

Viral hepatitis progresses faster and causes more liver-related health problems among people with HIV than among those who do not have HIV. Liver disease, much of which is related to HBV or HCV, is a major cause of non-AIDS-related deaths among people with HIV.

Given the risks of hepatitis B or hepatitis C coinfection to the health of people living with HIV, it is important to understand these risks, take steps to prevent infection, know your status, and, if necessary, get medical care from someone who is experienced in treating people who are coinfected with HIV and HBV, or HIV and HCV.

Also Check: How Contagious Is Hepatitis A

Groups At High Risk Of Hep B Transmission

Hep B can only be passed on through blood-to-blood contact, unprotected sex or during birth so you might be at risk of having hep B if you:

  • have moved to Australia from a country where hep C is widespread
  • were born to a mother who was hep B positive during her pregnancy
  • live or have lived with someone with hep B
  • have or have had a sexual partner who has hep B
  • have ever injected drugs or steroids
  • are in prison or have ever been in prison
  • have had blood transfusions, blood products or organ transplant in Australia before February 1990
  • are of Aboriginal ancestry
  • have had unsterile cosmetic or medical procedures.
  • have had unsterile tattooing or piercing
  • have ever taken part in unsterile traditional practices such as traditional tattooing, circumcision, initiation rituals involving blood, and scarification
  • do not meet the above profiles but have abnormal liver function tests or experience hep B symptoms

Hepatitis B Surface Antigen Test

PPT

A hepatitis B surface antigen test shows if youre contagious. A positive result means you have hepatitis B and can spread the virus. 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 .

Also Check: What Is A Hepatitis Panel

Chronic Hepatitis B Infection

If you develop chronic hepatitis B, youll be given treatment to reduce the risk of permanent liver damage and liver cancer. Treatment does not cure chronic hepatitis B and most people who start treatment need to continue for life.

Without treatment, chronic hepatitis B can cause scarring of the liver , which can cause the liver to stop working properly.

A small number of people with cirrhosis develop liver cancer, and these complications can lead to death. Other than a liver transplant, there is no cure for cirrhosis. However, treatments can help relieve some of the symptoms.

Whats The Prognosis For Hepatitis B

Your doctor will know youâve recovered when you no longer have symptoms and blood tests show:

  • Your liver is working normally.
  • You have hepatitis B surface antibody.

But some people don’t get rid of the infection. If you have it for more than 6 months, youâre whatâs called a carrier, even if you donât have symptoms. This means you can give the disease to someone else through:

  • Unprotected sex
  • Contact with your blood or an open sore
  • Sharing needles or syringes

Doctors donât know why, but the disease does go away in a small number of carriers. For others, it becomes whatâs known as chronic. That means you have an ongoing liver infection. It can lead to cirrhosis, or hardening of the organ. It scars over and stops working. Some people also get liver cancer.

If youâre a carrier or are infected with hepatitis B, donât donate blood, plasma, body organs, tissue, or sperm. Tell anyone you could infect — whether itâs a sex partner, your doctor, or your dentist — that you have it.

Show Sources

CDC: âHepatitis B Questions and Answers for Health Professionals,â âHepatitis B Questions and Answers for the Public.â

Mayo Clinic: âHepatitis B.â

UpToDate: âHepatitis B virus: Screening and diagnosis.â

CDC.

HealthyPeople.gov: âHepatitis B in Pregnant Women: Screening.â

Annals of Internal Medicine: âScreening for Hepatitis B Virus Infection in Nonpregnant Adolescents and Adults: U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Recommendation Statement.â

Recommended Reading: Which Hepatitis Affects The Liver

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.

For safety reasons, you also should talk with your doctor before using dietary supplements, such as vitamins, or any complementary or alternative medicines or medical practices.

How Is Hepatitis B Diagnosed

The Truth about Hepatitis B

There are three main ways to diagnose HBV infection. They include:

  • Blood tests: Tests of the blood serum shows how your bodys immune system is responding to the virus. A blood test can also tell you if you are immune to HBV.
  • Abdominal ultrasound: An ultrasound uses sound waves to show the size and shape of your liver and how well the blood flows through it.
  • Liver biopsy: A small sample of your liver tissue is removed though a tiny incision and sent to a lab for analysis.

The blood test that is used to diagnose hepatitis B is not a test that you get routinely during a medical visit. Often, people whove become infected first learn they have hepatitis B when they go to donate blood. Blood donations are routinely scanned for the infection.

The virus can be detected within 30 to 60 days of infection. About 70% of adults with hepatitis B develop symptoms, which tend to appear an average of 90 days after initial exposure to the virus.

Read Also: How To Find Out If You Have Hepatitis

How Is Hepatitis B Spread

You can become infected with hepatitis B through exposure to blood, semen and other bodily fluids of an infected person. You can get the infection by:

  • Having unprotected sex.
  • Sharing or using dirty needles for drug use, tattoos or piercing.
  • Sharing everyday items that may contain body fluids, including razors, toothbrushes, jewelry for piercings and nail clippers.
  • Being treated medically by someone who does not use sterile instruments.
  • Being bitten by someone with the infection.
  • Being born to a pregnant woman with the infection.

Hepatitis B is not spread by:

  • Kissing on the cheek or lips.
  • Coughing or sneezing.
  • Hugging, shaking hands or holding hands.
  • Eating food that someone with the infection has prepared.
  • Breastfeeding.

How Long Before I Have Symptoms

Many people have mild symptoms or no symptoms, which is why hepatitis is sometimes called a âsilentâ disease.

Hepatitis A. The symptoms usually show up 2 to 6 weeks after the virus enters your body. They usually last for less than 2 months, though sometimes you can be sick for as long as 6 months.

Some warning signs that you may have hepatitis A are:

Hepatitis B. The symptoms are the same as hepatitis A, and you usually get them 3 months after you’re infected. They could show up, though, anywhere from 6 weeks to 6 months later.

Sometimes the symptoms are mild and last just a few weeks. For some people, the hep B virus stays in the body and leads to long-term liver problems.

Hepatitis C. The early symptoms are the same as hepatitis A and B, and they usually happen 6 to 7 weeks after the virus gets in your body. But you could notice them anywhere from 2 weeks to 6 months later.

For about 25% of people who get hep C, the virus goes away on its own without treatment. In other cases, it sticks around for years. When that happens, your liver might get damaged.

Remember, it’s possible to spread all the types of hepatitis even if you don’t show any signs of being sick.

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Hepatitis B Symptoms & Treatment

FAST FACTS

  • Hepatitis B is a virus found in infected blood, semen and vaginal fluids.
  • Its a sexually transmitted infection that can be passed on through unprotected sex. You can also get it from contaminated needles and syringes. Its also commonly passed on from a mother to her baby during birth.
  • There is a vaccine to prevent hepatitis B, which is routinely offered to infants as well as at-risk groups.
  • You can prevent hepatitis B by practising safer sex, never sharing needles and syringes, and avoiding unlicensed tattoo parlours and acupuncturists.
  • Most people dont need treatment for acute hepatitis B. If the infection becomes chronic, there is no cure, but it can be managed with treatment.

What Is The Outlook For People With Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B Transmission for Those Newly Diagnosed ...

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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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.

What Should You Know About Hepatitis B Before You Travel

Hepatitis B is quite common in China and other Asian countries, where as many as 1 in 12 people have the virus, though many dont know it. Before traveling to those places, you should make sure youve been vaccinated against the virus.

In addition to getting the vaccine, you can take these additional precautions to reduce your risk of contracting the virus:

  • Refrain from taking illegal drugs.
  • Always use latex or polyurethane condoms during sex.
  • Make sure new, sterile needles are used during all piercings, tattoos and acupuncture sessions.
  • Avoid direct contact with blood and bodily fluids.
  • Know the HBV status of all your sexual partners.
  • Ask your doctor about possible vaccination before you travel to a place where hepatitis B is common.

A note from Cleveland Clinic

Hepatitis B is a liver disease that can cause serious damage to your health. One reason that is dangerous is that it can easily go undetected for years while damaging your liver. Talk with your healthcare provider about being tested for hepatitis B if you have any reason to believe that you were not vaccinated or if you have engaged in risky behavior. If you do test positive, follow the directions from your healthcare provider so that you can live a longer, healthier and happier life.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 07/09/2020.

References

Recommended Reading: Hepatitis C How Does It Spread

Reduce Your Chance Of Infection

You can reduce your chance of hepatitis B infection by

  • not sharing drug needles or other drug materials
  • wearing gloves if you have to touch another persons blood or open sores
  • making sure your tattoo artist or body piercer uses sterile tools
  • not sharing personal items, such as toothbrushes, razors, or nail clippers
  • using a latex or polyurethane condom during sex

How Do You Get Hepatitis C

Things you should know about Hepatitis B

Just like hepatitis B, you can get this type by sharing needles or having contact with infected blood. You can also catch it by having sex with somebody who’s infected, but that’s less common.

If you had a blood transfusion before new screening rules were put in place in 1992, you are at risk for hepatitis C. If not, the blood used in transfusions today is safe. It gets checked beforehand to make sure it’s free of the virus that causes hepatitis B and C.

It’s rare, but if you’re pregnant and have the disease, it’s possible to pass it to your newborn.

There are some myths out there about how you get hepatitis C, so let’s set the record straight. It’s not spread by food and water . And you canât spread it by doing any of these things:

  • Joint pain

See your doctor as soon as possible if you have any of these symptoms.

Sometimes, people have no symptoms. To be sure you have hepatitis, youâll need to get tested.

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Parenteral Routes: Transmission Of Hepatitis B Hepatitis D And Hepatitis C

Hepatitis B, C, and D viruses are all transmitted by what is known as the parenteral route. Parenteral simply means that these viruses can be introduced by all routes except through the intestinal tract, which leaves the door wide open in terms of possible exposure. Let’s look at the possible transmission routes for each of these types of hepatitis virus more closely.

What Causes Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is caused by infection with the hepatitis B virus. You can get the virus if you have unprotected sexual contact with an infected partner. People who use intravenous drugs can get hepatitis B when they share needles with someone who has the virus. Health care workers can get hepatitis B if they are accidentally stuck with a needle that was used on an infected patient. The infection can also be passed from a mother to her baby during childbirth. You are also more likely to get hepatitis B if you travel to areas of the world where hepatitis B is common.

Hepatitis B cannot be transmitted through casual contact. For example, you cannot get hepatitis B by hugging or shaking hands with someone who is infected.

Recommended Reading: How To Get Checked For Hepatitis

If I Have Hepatitis B And Feel Healthy Do I Need To Keep Going To My Doctor

Chronic hepatitis B is a silent disease because often no symptoms appear until your liver is severely damaged. Although many people with chronic hepatitis B have an inactive disease and will remain healthy, about one in four will have an active disease that may lead to cirrhosis, liver failure, and liver cancer.

Because hepatitis B has no symptoms until your liver is badly damaged, a blood test is the only way for your doctor to find out if your hepatitis B is active or inactive, and to offer treatment, if needed. To help your doctor monitor how your disease behaves over time, you will need lifelong repeat blood tests every six to 12 months. Some tests, such as HBV DNA may need to be done more frequently . No treatment is required while the virus is inactive, but you should continue to get regular blood tests from your doctor to monitor your liver disease.

Can Hepatitis B Be Prevented Or Avoided

Hepatitis A alert

The best way to prevent hepatitis B is to always have protected sex and, if you use intravenous drugs, avoid sharing needles.

A vaccine is available to prevent hepatitis B. It is now routinely given in the first year of life to all newborn infants. It is safe and requires 3 shots over a 6-month period. This vaccine should be given to people who are at high risk for this illness, such as healthcare workers, all children, people who travel to areas where the infection is widespread, drug users, and those who have multiple sex partners.

Recommended Reading: What Is Hepatitis B Virus

Also Check: How Is Hepatitis C Virus Transmitted

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