Who Are Hepatitis B Carriers
Hepatitis B carriers are people who have the hepatitis B virus in their blood, even though they dont feel sick. Between 6% and 10% of those people whove been infected with the virus will become carriers and can infect others without knowing it. There are over 250 million people in the world who are carriers of HBV, with about 10% to 15% of the total located in India. Children are at the highest risk of becoming carriers. About 9 in 10 babies infected at birth become HBV carriers, and about half of children who are infected between birth and age 5 carry the virus. A blood test can tell you if you are a hepatitis B carrier.
How Do I Know If I Have Hbv
A rapid point-of-care test after a finger prick or a simple blood test can tell if you are infected with the hepatitis B virus.
These tests can also help your doctor determine whether you are currently ill with hepatitis B, or if you are a chronic carrier. Although there is no treatment for the disease, bed rest and a good diet are important. Alcohol and medications should be restricted. Follow-up blood tests are necessary to tell if the disease has gone.
Key Facts About Hepatitis B
- Hepatitis B is a viral infection that attacks the liver and can cause both acute and chronic liver disease, including cancer.
- The virus is transmitted through contact with the blood or other body fluids of an infected person.
- About 2 billion people worldwide have been infected with the virus and about 370 million live with chronic infection and liver damage.
- Two thirds of those infected with HBV are unaware of their infection
- An estimated 800 000 people die each year due to HBV induced liver cancer or cirrhosis.
- Despite there being a vaccine, globally HBV kills one person every minute
- About 25% of adults who become chronically infected during childhood later die from liver cancer or cirrhosis caused by the chronic infection.
- The hepatitis B virus is 50 to 100 times more infectious than HIV.
- Hepatitis B is preventable with a safe and effective vaccine.
Don’t Miss: Flu Like Symptoms Hepatitis C
Measles Virus Vaccine Mumps Virus Vaccine
Vaccine — Use insulated container. Must be shipped with refrigerant.Maintain at 10 C or less. If shipped with dry ice, diluent must beshipped separately.
Diluent — May be shipped with vaccine but do not freeze.
Condition on Arrival
*Should be below 10 C . If above this temperature, see instructions below. Do not use warm vaccine. Refrigerate on arrival.
Vaccine may be stored separately from diluent. Store as follows:Vaccine — Refrigerate immediately on arrival. Store at 2 -8 C .Protect from light at all times, since such exposure may inactivate thevirus.
Diluent — May be stored at 15 -30 C room temperature. Do notfreeze.
Special Note: Freeze dried vaccines may be maintained atfreezer temperatures.
Vaccine — Up to 2 years. Check date on container or vial.
Diluent — Check date on container or vial.
Instructions for Reconstitution or Use
Reconstitute just before using. Use only the diluent supplied toreconstitute the vaccine.
Single Dose Vials — Inject diluent into the vial of lyophilized vaccineand agitate to ensure thorough mixing. Withdraw entire contents intosyringe and inject total volume of vaccine subcutaneously.
Multidose Vials — Withdraw all diluent from vial into syringe. Injectinto vial of lyophilized vaccine and agitate to ensure thorough mixing.
10-Dose Vials — Withdraw 0.5cc of reconstituted vaccine into separatesterile needle and syringe for each immunization. Licensed for jetinjector use.
Study Demonstrates High Stability Of Hepatitis B Virus
Hepatitis B virus infectivity can remain stable for up to 9 months and demonstrate high resilience to antiseptics.
Hepatitis B virus can remain highly infectious for several weeks at room temperature and can even maintain stability in temperatures of 4 degrees Celsius over a 9-month period, according to a new study.
HBV is considered a major public health problem, with a significant number of outbreak cases reported. HBV can be transmitted through contact with body fluids, such as blood, from an infected individual, which can put hospitals and health care facilities at risk, according to the CDC.
In the study, which was published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases, the researchers used an HBV infection system in human liver cells to study the stability of the virus. According to the researchers, previous studies have only been conducted in duck HBV models due to the lack of human research models, which may not produce results that are as accurate.
The new HBV infection system enables researchers worldwide to finally conduct highly detailed studies of the human virus that had not been possible until quite recently, study author Marc Windisch, from the Institute Pasteur Korea, said in a press release about the findings.
The researchers concluded that strict compliance with hygiene guidelines is essential to avoid and prevent HBV infections.
Recommended Reading: What Is Hepatitis Be Antibody
Hepatitis B Positive Health Care Workers Undertaking Epp
- A health care worker cannot undertake EPPs if they are HBeAg positive
- All testing must be on IVS samples sent to a designated laboratory.
- They can do EPPs if they are HBeAg negative and have a viral load less than 103 genome equivalents/ml.
- If they have a viral load greater than 103 genome equivalents/ml, they can do EPP if one year after treatment has finished their viral load is less than103 genome equivalents/ml. The viral load should be monitored at six months and then annually.
- If they have a viral load greater than 103 genome equivalents/ml but less than 105 genome equivalents/ml, and are on antiviral treatment, they can undertake EPP if their viral load reduces to less than 103 genome equivalents/ml on two consecutive tests one month apart. Viral load must be monitored every three months, and they must be monitored by a consultant occupational physician. They should be referred to a hepatologist if the viral load rises above 103 genome equivalents/ml. If they stop antivirals they must stop EPP immediately. If patients are accidentally exposed, they must be risk assessed and may need PEP.
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH. Hepatitis B infected healthcare workers and antiviral therapy. 2012.
RINGERTZ O. Serum hepatitis in Swedish track finders. Scand. J. Infect. Dis. 1971 2 : 325.
TE HS, JENSEN DM. Epidemiology of hepatitis B and C viruses: a global overview. Clin Liver Dis. 2010 Feb. 14:1-21, vii.
What Laboratory Tests Are Available For Hepatitis B
Tests are available to detect the types of antigens used to identify the hepatitis B virus. The tests determine if the virus is present in the body tissue or blood. The amount of each type of antigen present indicates how advanced the disease is and how infective the individual has become.
Other tests are available to detect the body’s reaction to the viral infection or the body’s reaction to vaccination against the virus. These tests work by measuring the number of antibodies present in the blood.
Don’t Miss: How To Manage Hepatitis C
How Is Hepatitis B Spread
- 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.
High Stability Of The Hepatitis B Virus
- Ruhr-University Bochum
- The hepatitis B virus is highly environmentally stable and can be deactivated only through appropriate application of disinfectants. Researchers recommend strict compliance with hygiene guidelines.
At room temperature, hepatitis B viruses remain contagious for several weeks and they are even able to withstand temperatures of four degrees centigrade over the span of nine months. When applied properly, disinfectants are effective — but only undiluted. These are the results gained by a German-Korean research team in a study using a novel HBV infection system in human liver cells. Due to a lack of human research models, research had previously been conducted in duck hepatitis B viruses.
Professor Eike Steinmann from the Department for Molecular & Medical Virology at Ruhr-Universität Bochum and RUB alumnus Professor Marc Windisch from the Institute Pasteur Korea in Seoul published their report in the Journal of Infectious Diseases on October 24, 2018.
Hepatitis B is primarily transmitted through contact with blood. “Consequently, it should be easy to control, provided appropriate hygiene measures are implemented,” says Eike Steinmann. However, there are frequently cases of people contracting the hepatitis B virus in hospitals or in the workplace.
Previously: duck viruses only
Common hand disinfectants are effective
More resilient than all others
Recommended Reading: Chronic Hepatitis C Without Hepatic Coma Hcc
Can You Breastfeed If You Have Hepatitis C
You can breastfeed your baby if you have a hepatitis C infection. Researchers have never found a case where a mother with hepatitis C has passed the infection to her infant through breastfeeding.
Hepatitis C is transmitted through contact with infected blood. Breastmilk doesnt come into contact with blood. However, if your nipples or the areola are cracked or bleeding, you should avoid breastfeeding until theyre healed.
Use a breast pump to express milk until your nipples are healed, and talk with your infants pediatrician about supplemental milk. Once the cracked or scabbed areas are healed, you can resume breastfeeding.
Blood And Bloodstain Preparation
Bloodstain samples were prepared by soaking cotton buds in 0.1 mL of HBV-infected whole blood samples for 1 min and then drying at room temperature for up to 60 days. HBV-infected whole blood samples were placed in sealed 2-mL test tubes and kept at room temperature for up to 60 days. The prepared blood and bloodstain samples were analyzed at 3, 9, 27, and 60 days after preparation.
Recommended Reading: Difference Between Hiv And Hepatitis
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.
How Common Is Hepatitis B
Hepatitis B is fairly common in Africa and the western Pacific region. Throughout the world, there are about 292 million people who are infected with chronic hepatitis B. In the U.S., the figure exceeds 2 million people.
The number of infections had been falling in the U.S., but fewer vaccinations among adults combined with the onset of the opioid crisis and injected drug usage has resulted in the numbers rising again. Infected women can pass the infection on to their babies. Children who are infected before age 5 are more likely to have chronic infection than those infected later in life.
You May Like: Medicine To Cure Hepatitis C
How Can I Catch Hbv
Hepatitis B virus is transmitted between people by contact with the blood or other body fluids of an infected person. In Africa the virus is mainly transmitted early in life, from mother-to-child or between children. HBV is spread through a break in the skin , or through sexual intercourse. HBV is 50 to 100 times more infectious than HIV. Unlike HIV, HBV can survive outside the body for at least 7 days. During that time, the virus can still cause infection if it enters the body of a person who is not infected.
Unless vaccinated at the time of birth, these babies can become chronic carriers, which means they are infected with the virus for life. Of children who become infected with the virus between one and five years of age, 30-50 percent become carriers.
In many developed countries , patterns of transmission are different than those mentioned above. Today, the majority of infections in these countries are transmitted during young adulthood by sexual activity and injecting drug use. HBV is a major infectious occupational hazard of health workers.
HBV is not spread by contaminated food or water, and cannot be spread casually in the workplace.
The virus incubation period is 90 days on average, but can vary from about 30 to 180 days. HBV may be detected 30 to 60 days after infection and persist for widely variable periods of time.
Risks From Hepatitis B
The main risk is acute hepatitis as infected hepatocytes are destroyed by the immune system. If the immune system is impaired, chronic infection may result. This is only seen in around 5% of adults, but is much more common in children and neonates .
Chronic infection can also be accompanied by chronic hepatitis. This can progress to cirrhosis, and around 9% of those with cirrhosis develop hepatocellular carcinoma.
Don’t Miss: Can You Be Cured From Hepatitis B
Adults Living With Hepatitis B
If you test positive for the hepatitis B virus for longer than 6 months, this indicates that you have a chronic hepatitis B infection.
All patients with chronic hepatitis B infections, including children and adults, should be monitored regularly since they are at increased risk for developing cirrhosis, liver failure, or liver cancer.
You should make an appointment with a hepatologist or gastroenterologist familiar with hepatitis B. This specialist will order blood tests and possibly a liver ultrasound to evaluate your hepatitis B status and the health of your liver. Your doctor will probably want to see you at least once or twice a year to monitor your hepatitis B and determine if you would benefit from treatment.
Not everyone who tests positive for hepatitis B will require medication. Depending on your test results, you and your doctor might decide to wait and monitor your condition. If your test results indicate that you would be a good candidate for treatment, then your doctor will discuss the current treatment options with you. Whether you start treatment or not, your doctor will want to see you every six months, or at minimum once every year.
Before you start any treatment, make sure you research each treatment option, and ask your doctor to thoroughly explain each option, so that you are well informed. It also might be a good idea to get a second opinion from another doctor before starting any treatment, because more information is always better!
Can You Get A Vaccine To Prevent Hepatitis C
Vaccines are a way to expose your body to a virus before you encounter the live virus naturally. A vaccine contains traces of a dead virus, so your body can form a memory of the virus. Your body then remembers how to attack and destroy the virus if you ever come into contact with it.
There isnt a vaccine for hepatitis C at this time. Hepatitis C has many different subtypes and strains, so creating a vaccine that protects against all the different types is complicated. Vaccines are available for both hepatitis A and B, but one for hepatitis C hasnt been approved.
If you have hepatitis C, your doctor may suggest you get the vaccine for both hepatitis A and B. These two types of viruses cause liver damage, so the added protection is a smart idea.
You May Like: How Does A Person Contract Hepatitis C
Myth: All Hepatitis Viruses Are The Same
Fact: Hepatitis A, B, C, D, E are different kinds of viruses. They have different modes of transmission and manifestations. While A and E are transmitted by ingestion of contaminated food, B and C are transmitted by blood . Hepatitis D occurs only in patients affected by Hepatitis B through direct contact with infectious blood.
How Is Hepatitis B Treated
Your healthcare provider will treat you based on what type of hepatitis B you have, acute or chronic.
Acute hepatitis B infections
If you develop an acute form of the condition, you probably wont need medical treatment. Instead, your doctor will likely suggest that you get plenty of rest, drink lots of fluids and maintain a healthy diet to support your body as it fights off the infection.
Chronic hepatitis B infections
If you have chronic hepatitis B, you might be a candidate for drug therapy. Usually, drug therapy is used only if you have active liver disease. There are seven drugs that are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat hepatitis B. Two are injectable forms of interferon, while the five other antivirals are tablets.
You will need to take these medications every day. They help by slowing the viruss ability to multiply in your system. This helps reduce swelling and liver damage. Youll need to be regularly monitored for early signs of liver damage and liver cancer. Your healthcare provider will want to see you once or twice a year.
Recommended Reading: How Can You Pass Hepatitis C
What Is Viral Hepatitis
Viral hepatitis is an inflammation of your liver that’s caused by a virus. There are five types, but the most common ones in the U.S. are hepatitis A, B, and C. All of them affect yourliver. Some of the symptoms are similar, but they have different treatments.
Hepatitis A. This type won’t lead to long-term infection and usually doesn’t cause any complications. Your liver heals in about 2 months. You can prevent it with a vaccine.
Hepatitis B. Most people recover from this type in 6 months. Sometimes, though, it causes a long-term infection that could lead to liver damage. Once you’ve got the disease, you can spread the virus even if you don’t feel sick. You won’t catch it if you get a vaccine.
Hepatitis C. Many people with this type don’t have symptoms. About 80% of those with the disease get a long-term infection. It can sometimes lead to cirrhosis, a scarring of the liver. There’s no vaccine to prevent it.
Check If You Have Hepatitis B
Symptoms of hepatitis B infection include:
- a high temperature
- pain in your upper tummy
- feeling sick or being sick
- patches of raised skin that may be itchy
- yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes
The infection usually lasts for 1 to 3 months and most people either have no symptoms or mild symptoms. If the infection lasts longer than 6 months it is called chronic hepatitis B.
Recommended Reading: What Are The Different Types Of Hepatitis