Friday, December 2, 2022

How You Get Hepatitis B And C

How Common Is Hepatitis Co

Hepatitis B: Treatment and care for a chronic condition

About 2.7 million people living in the United States have chronic hepatitis C, while some 1.2 million have hepatitis B, according to the CDC. Far fewer have both infections. An found that only about 1.4 percent of U.S. veterans who had hepatitis C were also infected with hepatitis B.

The main reason that people may develop both infections, Dr. Alqahtani says, is that they can be transmitted in similar ways. Since these viruses share similar methods of transmission, co-infection can become more common, he points out. That includes exposure to contaminated blood.

Both hepatitis B and C can be spread through blood transfusions or injections during medical procedures, according to the World Health Organization , if blood has not been effectively screened. Sharing needles is a common method of transmitting hepatitis C in the United States, but its also a method for transmitting hepatitis B, says Alqahtani. In addition to blood, hepatitis B can be spread through other body fluids like semen.

You are at a higher risk of having a hepatitis C infection if you are in any of the following groups listed by the CDC:

  • Injection drug user

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Are Hepatitis B And C Preventable

Hepatitis B is a vaccine-preventable disease.

There is a three-shot vaccination series that is very effective in protecting people against the virus if theyre exposed. In the United States, all newborns are vaccinated for hepatitis B and all pregnant women are screened for hepatitis B during pregnancy. This way, mothers infected with hepatitis B can take protective steps to decrease the risk of transmission of the virus to the child.

There is no vaccine for hepatitis C.

What Are The Risk Factors For Getting Hepatitis B

Due to the way that hepatitis B spreads, people most at risk for getting infected include:

  • Children whose mothers have been infected with hepatitis B.
  • Children who have been adopted from countries with high rates of hepatitis B infection.
  • People who have unprotected sex and/or have been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection.
  • People who live with or work in an institutional setting, such as prisons or group homes.
  • Healthcare providers and first responders.
  • People who share needles or syringes.
  • People who live in close quarters with a person with chronic hepatitis B infection.
  • People who are on dialysis.

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Hepatitis C: How Does It Spread

It spreads through infected blood. In the U.S., sharing needles or other items used to inject drugs is the most common cause of infection. Getting a tattoo or body piercing with an infected needle is another means of exposure. A mother may pass the virus to their child at birth. In rare cases, unprotected sex spreads hepatitis C, but the risk appears small. Having multiple sex partners, HIV, or rough sex seems to raise risk for spreading hepatitis C.

How To Prevent Transmission

Hepatitis C window period: When can you get tested?

Between 2% and 6% of adults infected with hepatitis B virus will develop chronic hepatitis B. Chronic hepatitis B can lead to liver failure and liver cancer, so protecting yourself is important.

The hepatitis B vaccine is safe for almost everyone and about 95% effective for providing long-term protection against hepatitis B infection.

While anyone can benefit from the vaccine, people who are at a greater risk of being exposed to the virus because of their work, lifestyle or medical history are strongly encouraged to be immunized. In many countries, babies born to infected mothers get vaccinated at birth. All babies born in the United States are routinely vaccinated.

Hepatitis B immune globulin , is another way to prevent hepatitis B infection in babies born to infected mothers or after exposure to the virus. This uses concentrated antibodies to provide immediate protection. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is given as a shot and can provide short-term protection against hepatitis B.

Because the hepatitis B vaccine does not protect against HIV, hepatitis C or other diseases spread through sex and contact with blood, it’s still important to keep using basic protective strategies. Practicing safer sex and not sharing needles are recommended even if you’re immune to hepatitis B.

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How Is Hepatitis B Prevented

Testing & Vaccination

  • The hepatitis B vaccine offers excellent protection against HBV. The vaccine is safe and highly effective. Vaccination consists of 3 doses of vaccine over the course of 6 months. Protection lasts for 20 years to life.
  • The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all children should receive hepatitis B vaccine starting at birth. .
  • The CDC recommends hepatitis B vaccine for persons traveling to countries where HBV is common .
  • If you have one or more risk factors for hepatitis B infection, you should get a simple HBV blood test. The blood test will determine whether you are:
  • immune to hepatitis B or
  • susceptible to hepatitis B and need vaccination or
  • infected with hepatitis B and need further evaluation by a physician
  • The basic test for acute HBV infection is called the Hepatitis B Core IgM Antibody test. People who have acute hepatitis B show positive IgM antibodies on this test.
  • Perinatal Hepatitis

    • California law requires testing of all pregnant women for hepatitis B infection
    • If the mother is HBV-infected, she will pass the infection to the baby during the birth process, unless the baby gets immunized within hours of birth
    • Giving the infant HBIG and HBV vaccine right away will reliably prevent infection of the infant
    • Other family members should best tested for hepatitis B too, and given vaccine if they are not already infected or immune

    Healthy Habits

    After Exposure to Hepatitis B

    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 your liver. 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.

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    Preventing Hepatitis B Or C

    There are vaccines available to prevent hepatitis B. The vaccines are free for babies and children under 18 years, and some adults. Talk with your doctor or nurse to find out more.

    There is no vaccine against hepatitis C. To prevent spreading or catching hepatitis B or C:

    • Always use condoms during sex.
    • Cover cuts and scratches.
    • Do not share toothbrushes, razors or other personal items.
    • Do not share needles, syringes or other injecting equipment, including those used for skin piercing and tattooing.
    • Be careful about blood contact, for example, when playing a contact sport.
    • Get advice from your doctor if you are likely to have contact with blood or body fluids at work.
    • Do not donate blood if you have hepatitis B or C.

    How Is Hepatitis Diagnosed

    What is Hepatitis B? | How is Hepatitis B Transmitted?

    Chronic hepatitis can quietly attack the liver for years without causing any symptoms. Unless the infection is diagnosed, monitored, and treated, many of these people will eventually have serious liver damage. Fortunately, blood tests can determine whether you have viral hepatitis, and if so, which kind.

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    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.

    What Occupations Have Increased Risk Of Hepatitis B

    In general, occupational groups with increased risk include:

    • Health-care workers repeatedly exposed to blood or blood products or those who are at risk of needlestick injury.
    • Pathologists, laboratory personnel, or embalmers.
    • Dentists, dental assistants, and dental hygienists.
    • Certain staff members of institutions for the developmentally handicapped.
    • Staff of institutions where workers may be exposed to aggressive, biting residents.

    Travellers to regions with intermediate or high rates of endemic HBV infection may also consider being vaccinated.

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    How Do You Test For Hepatitis B

    A simple blood test carried out by a healthcare professional will show whether you have the virus. You may also be given extra tests to see if your liver is damaged.

    If youve got hepatitis B you should be tested for other STIs. Its important that you tell your recent sexual partner/s so they can also get tested and treated. Many people who have hepatitis B dont notice anything wrong, and by telling them you can help to stop the virus being passed on. This can also stop you from getting the infection again.

    Is Everyone Tested For Both Hepatitis B And C

    Hepatitis C window period: When can you get tested?

    Hepatitis B

    The US Centers for Disease and Control recommends testing for certain high-risk groups for hepatitis B.

    • High-risk groups include people not born in the US, men who have sex with men, people who inject drugs, and people with hepatitis C, among other groups.
    • If you think you have been exposed to hepatitis B, contact your doctor right away. A treatment is available that may reduce your risk of infection if you receive this medicine within 24 hours of exposure to the virus.

    Hepatitis C

    The CDC recommends that all adults 18 years and older be tested for hepatitis C at least once. Pregnant women should be tested during each pregnancy. Getting tested for hepatitis C is important, because HCV treatments can cure most people in 8 to 12 weeks. If you are at higher risk for HCV, youll need to be tested more frequently.

    Treatments for both hepatitis B and hepatitis C are in a class called antivirals, but the medications that are used are different.

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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
    • anyone who has had unprotected sex, including anal or oral sex particularly people who have had multiple sexual partners, people who have had sex with someone in or from a high-risk area, men who have sex with men, and commercial sex workers
    • close contacts, such as family members, of someone with a 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 these activities 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.

    Who Should Be Vaccinated For Hepatitis B

    All newborns should be vaccinated. Also, people who are under 18 who were not vaccinated at birth should also get the vaccine. Other groups who should be sure to be vaccinated are those in certain high-risk categories, such as:

    • People who have more than one sexual partner.
    • Men who have sex with men.
    • Adults with diabetes.
    • Sexual partners of infected people and people who share households with infected individuals.
    • People who are exposed to blood and other bodily fluids, including healthcare and public safety professionals, and people who work in jails and other places taking care of people who cant take care of themselves.

    Read Also: How To Find Out If You Have Hepatitis

    Eating Diet And Nutrition For Hepatitis B

    If you have hepatitis B, you should eat a balanced, healthy diet. Obesity can increase the chance of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease , and NAFLD can increase liver damage in people who have hepatitis B. Talk with your doctor about healthy eating and maintaining a healthy weight.

    You should also avoid alcohol because it can cause more liver damage.

    Prevent Infection After Contact With The Virus

    How is Hepatitis B & C transmitted? | Apollo Hospitals

    If you think you have been in contact with the hepatitis B virus, see your doctor right away. Doctors typically recommend a dose of the hepatitis B vaccine to prevent infection. In some cases, doctors may also recommend a medicine called hepatitis B immune globulin to help prevent infection. You must get the vaccine dose and, if needed, HBIG shortly after coming into contact with the virus, preferably within 24 hours.

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    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

    Delhi: Pregnant Women To Get Free Treatment For Hepatitis B C

    Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain on Saturday said free screening services and treatment of Hepatitis B and C will be soon made available for pregnant women in the national capital.

    Delhi government is planning to make mandatory free screening services and treatment available of Hepatitis B and C for pregnant women in order to ensure early diagnosis and treatment so that the child does not get infected with Hepatitis C or can be treated accordingly, Jain said.

    He was speaking after releasing a report on Hepatitis Awareness Activities on the 24th Hepatitis Day organised by the ILBS hospital.

    Apart from this, the Delhi government will train the staff of Mohalla Clinic to treat this disease along with screening and we will make sure that free medicines are available there to treat the disease at the primary level, Jain said.

    We will devise a mechanism to provide free medicines to patients of Hepatitis B in Mohalla Clinics. Additionally, we will bring Hepatitis under the notifiable disease list of Delhi within the next few months.

    The Delhi government will also integrate the test of Hepatitis with its upcoming Health Management Information System, he said, adding: By this, we will ensure that every health card holder goes through a hepatitis test, once in a lifetime.

    20211204-205613

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    What Are Hepatitis B And Hepatitis C

    Although hep A is a short-term illness that goes away completely, hepatitis B and hepatitis C can turn into serious long-term illnesses for some people. Teens and young adults are most at risk for getting these two viruses.

    Hep B and C get passed from person to person the same ways that HIV does through direct contact with infected body fluids. Hepatitis B and C are even more easily passed in fluids and needles than HIV. This can happen through sexual contact and by sharing needles that have been contaminated with infected blood. Even when infected people don’t have any symptoms, they can still pass the disease on to others.

    Sometimes mothers with hep B or C pass the virus along to their babies when they’re born. Hep B and C also can get passed in ways you might not expect such as getting a manicure or pedicure with unsterilized nail clippers or other dirty instruments. Getting a tattoo, if dirty needles are used, is another way someone can get hep B or C.

    Hepatitis B: What Happens

    Hepatitis B Home Treatment: Tips to Help You Feel Better

    Many adults who get hepatitis B have mild symptoms for a short time and then get better on their own. But some people are not able to clear the virus from the body, which causes a long-term infection. Nearly 90% of infants who get the virus will carry it for life. Over time, hepatitis B can lead to serious problems, such as liver damage, liver failure, and liver cancer.

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