Who Should Get The Hbv Vaccine
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that children should get their first hepatitis B vaccine at birth and complete the doses by 6 to 18 months of age. However, the HBV vaccine is still recommended for all children if they havent already gotten it, from infanthood up to 19 years old. Most U.S. states require a hepatitis B vaccine for school admittance, however.
Its also recommended for adults at an increased risk of catching the HBV infection, or anyone who fears they have or will be exposed to it in the near future.
The HBV vaccine is even safe to administer to pregnant women.
How Can I Prevent Spreading Hepatitis B To Others
If you have hepatitis B, follow the steps above to avoid spreading the infection. Your sex partners should get a hepatitis B test and, if they arent infected, get the hepatitis B vaccine. You can protect others from getting infected by telling your doctor, dentist, and other health care professionals that you have hepatitis B. Dont donate blood or blood products, semen, organs, or tissue.
From Person To Person
Blood and other bodily fluids, such as semen and vaginal secretions, contain the virus in infected people. The main ways in which people in the UK become infected include the following:
- Having unprotected sex with an infected person. Even having oral sex can transmit hepatitis B.
- From infected blood. You only need a tiny amount of infected blood to come into contact with a cut or wound on your body to allow the virus to enter your bloodstream, multiply and cause infection. For example:
- Sharing needles and/or any injecting equipment to inject drugs. Even a tiny amount of blood left on a needle from an infected person is enough to cause spread to others.
- Some people who had a blood transfusion or another blood product several years ago were infected with hepatitis B. Now, all blood donated in the UK is checked for the hepatitis B virus . So, the risk of getting hepatitis B from a blood transfusion in the UK is now very small.
- From ‘needlestick’ accidents where the needle was used on an infected person.
- There is a small risk of contracting the virus from sharing toothbrushes, razors and other such items which may be contaminated with blood. The virus can actually live outside the body for more than one week.
- From using equipment which is not sterile for dental work, medical procedures, tattooing, body piercing, etc.
- A bite from an infected person, or if their blood spills on to a wound on your skin, or on to your eyes or into your mouth.
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Treatment For Chronic Hbv Infection
For chronic HBV infection, antiviral medications are available.
This is not a cure for chronic HBV. However, it can stop the virus from replicating and prevent its progression into advanced liver disease.
A person with a chronic HBV infection can develop cirrhosis or liver cancer rapidly and without warning. If a person does not have access to adequate treatment or facilities, liver cancer can be fatal within months of diagnosis.
People with a chronic HBV infection require ongoing medical evaluation and an ultrasound of the liver
How Long Do Symptoms Of Hepatitis B Last
Hepatitis B in adults will usually pass within 1 to 3 months. This is known as acute hepatitis B and rarely causes any serious problems.
Occasionally, the infection can last for 6 months or more. This is known as chronic hepatitis B.
Chronic hepatitis B mainly affects babies and young children who get hepatitis B. It’s much less common in people who become infected later in childhood or when they’re an adult.
The symptoms of chronic hepatitis B tend to be quite mild and may come and go. Some people may not have any noticeable symptoms.
But without treatment, people with chronic hepatitis B can develop problems like scarring of the liver .
Page last reviewed: 30 January 2019 Next review due: 30 January 2022
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What Are The Medications For Hepatitis B
All of the following medications used to treat chronic hepatitis B are antiviral medications. They reduce the ability of the virus to reproduce in the body and give the liver a chance to heal itself. These drugs are not a cure for hepatitis B, but they do reduce the damage caused by the virus. Although these medications are similar in some ways, they differ in other important ways. Talk to your health care practitioner about the best medication for you.
Pegylated interferon alfa-2b
Pegylated interferon is used alone or in combination with other medications.
Nucleoside/nucleotide analogues are compounds that mimic normal building blocks for DNA. When the virus tries to use the analogues, it is unable to make new viral particles. Examples of these agents include adefovir , entecavir , lamivudine , Telbivudine and tenofovir .
Hepatitis B Symptoms & Treatment
- 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.
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If I Have No Symptoms How Would I Know If I Have 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.
What Is The Follow
If an individual has acute hepatitis B, a health care practitioner will draw blood and examine the person periodically to see if the infection is resolving. If the person develops chronic hepatitis B, they will need periodic examinations and blood tests on an ongoing basis. If these tests indicate that the virus is actively damaging the liver, the healthcare practitioner may suggest a liver biopsy or begin antiviral therapy. The individual will also be given a vaccine against hepatitis A, which is an unrelated virus that may cause severe liver disease in people who already carry hepatitis B.
Chronic hepatitis B is associated with hepatocellular carcinoma. Fortunately, this is rare cancer. A blood test can be used to detect a marker for this cancer, or cancer can be detected by abdominal ultrasound. Persons with chronic hepatitis B are usually screened periodically for hepatocellular carcinoma, although it is not clear if this screening improves survival.
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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.
Should I Test For Antibodies
There is no need for a routine check of vaccination protection with every client. In vaccine studies, hepatitis B vaccines have afforded a protective level of antibodies to over 95% of vaccination recipients.
Checking the protection achieved by the vaccination series is particularly important in cases of continuous significant exposure. These cases include the child of a mother who is a hepatitis B carrier, or the partner of a hepatitis B carrier.
A physician makes the decision on testing for antibodies in situations where it is suspected that protection is insufficiently established and the persons exposure risk is significant and continuous.
Protection may not be established if the vaccine recipient
- is aged over 50
- is severely overweight, or
- has a chronic illness that reduces their resistance.
If a person has a repeated exposure risk at work, the occupational healthcare services will assess if their protection should be checked.
This is done by testing for antibodies 6 to 8 weeks after the last dose. Protection is sufficient if S-HBsAb is 10 IU/l or higher after a series of three or four doses.
If a person has not developed sufficient protection following the primary vaccination series and repeated exposure is obvious, additional vaccinations should be administered in months 0, 2 and 4. Test for antibodies again 6 to 8 weeks after the final dose. If sufficient protection has still not been established, the infection risk must be reduced by other means.
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Is There A Hepatitis B Vaccine
There is a vaccine against the hepatitis B virus . It is safe and works well to prevent the disease. A total of 3 doses of the vaccine are given over several months. Hepatitis B vaccine is also produced as a combination product which includes other common childhood vaccinations. This can reduce the number of shots that a child needs at a single visit.
The following groups should be vaccinated for hepatitis B:
- All children younger than 19 years, including all newborns – especially those born to mothers who are infected with HBV
- All health care and public safety workers who may be exposed to blood
- People who have hemophilia or other blood clotting disorders and receive transfusions of human clotting factors
Is Hepatitis B Contagious
Hepatitis B is highly contagious. It spreads through contact with infected blood and certain other bodily fluids. Although the virus can be found in saliva, its not spread through sharing utensils or kissing. It also doesnt spread through sneezing, coughing, or breastfeeding. Symptoms of hepatitis B may not appear for 3 months after exposure and can last for 212 weeks. However, you are still contagious, even
To screen for hepatitis B, your doctor will perform a series of blood tests.
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What Is The Hepatitis B Carrier State
Some persons infected with hepatitis B virus never fully recover andcarry the virus for the rest of their lives. These persons are known ascarriers, and they can infect other household and sexual contactsthroughout their lives. Among adults who have hepatitis B, 5% to 10%develop a lifelong infection among children, the risk for lifelonginfection is much higher. In the United States today, an estimated onemillion persons have life long hepatitis B virus infections.
Who Gets Hepatitis B
One out of 20 people in the United States will get infected with HBV some time during their lives. Anyone can get hepatitis B, but you are at greater risk if you:
- have sex with someone infected with HBV
- have multiple sex partners
- are a man and have sex with men
- have ever been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease
- are an injection drug user
- live in the same house with someone who has lifelong HBV infection
- are a health care or public safety worker who has contact with human blood
- are an infant born to an HBV-infected mother
- are a hemodialysis patient
- are an infant/child or immigrant from areas with high rates of infection
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Hepatitis B And Pregnancy
If youâre pregnant, you might pass the virus to your baby at birth. Itâs less likely to happen during your pregnancy.
If your baby gets the virus and isnât treated, they could have long-term liver problems. All newborns with infected mothers should get hepatitis B immune globulin and the vaccine for hepatitis at birth and during their first year of life.
Pegylated Interferon Alpha Versus Nucleoside Analogues
PEG-IFN and NAs are the main forms of antiviral treatment for CHB. NAs were developed during the 1980s for the treatment of HIV, but subsequently were found to have additional efficacy in treating CHB. There are advantages and disadvantages of therapy with PEG-IFN compared to NAs. PEG-IFN treatment has the benefit of finite treatment duration, a higher rate of HBeAg and HBsAg seroconversion, a higher chance of sustained off-treatment response, and no drug resistance . On the other hand, PEG-IFN therapy is not well tolerated because adverse effects are common and can occasionally cause significant morbidity or mortality. Pregnancy and decompensated cirrhosis are absolute contraindications. Administration by subcutaneous injection is difficult for some patients. The advantages of NAs are that it is an oral medication, is a potent anti-viral, and has relatively few adverse effects. NAs are safe to use in cirrhosis and some are safe in pregnancy. The newer NAs, entecavir monohydrate and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate also have little or no drug resistance . The main disadvantage of NAs are that rates of HBeAg and HBsAg seroconversion are lower, and sustained off-treatment responses are rare . As a result, the treatment duration is usually indefinite.
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Can Hepatitis B Be Prevented
The hepatitis B vaccine is one of the best ways to control the disease. It is safe, effective and widely available. More than one billion doses of the vaccine have been administered globally since 1982. The World Health Organization says the vaccine is 98-100% effective in guarding against the virus. Newborns should be vaccinated.
The disease has also been more widely prevented thanks to:
- Widespread global adoption of safe blood-handling practices. WHO says 97% of the blood donated around the world is now screened for HBV and other diseases.
- Safer blood injection practices, using clean needles.
- Safe-sex practices.
You can help prevent hepatitis B infections by:
- Practicing safe sex .
- Never sharing personal care items like toothbrushes or razors.
- Getting tattoos or piercings only at shops that employ safe hygiene practices.
- Not sharing needles to use drugs.
- Asking your healthcare provider for blood tests to determine if you have HBV or if you are immune.
How Long Does It Last
According to the World Health Organization , the complete vaccine series induces protective antibody levels in of the infants, children, and adolescents who receive it.
Immune memory induced by the HBV vaccine can last for in healthy people. That said, studies into the duration of the protection that the vaccine offers are ongoing.
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When Should I Call The Doctor For Hepatitis B
- Nausea and vomiting that does not go away in 1-2 days
- The inability to keep down liquids
- A high fever or fever that persists more than 2 days
- Dark-colored urine
- Pain in the abdomen.
For severe symptoms including confusion or delirium go to a hospital emergency department.
You should also contact your health care practitioner if you think you may have been exposed to the hepatitis B virus.
If you have chronic hepatitis B infection and think you might be pregnant or if you are pregnant and think you have been exposed to hepatitis B inform health care practitioner right away.
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What Are Clinical Trials For Hepatitis B
Clinical trialsand other types of clinical studiesare part of medical research and involve people like you. When you volunteer to take part in a clinical study, you help doctors and researchers learn more about disease and improve health care for people in the future.
Researchers are studying many aspects of hepatitis B, such as
- progression of hepatitis B and long-term outcomes
- new treatments for hepatitis B
- prevention of reactivated or worsening hepatitis B in people receiving cancer treatment
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What Are The Symptoms Of Chronic Hepatitis B
About 1 in 20 people who get hepatitis B as adults become carriers, which means they have a chronic hepatitis B infection. Carriers are more likely to pass hepatitis B to other people. Most carriers are contagious meaning they can spread hepatitis B for the rest of their lives.
Hepatitis B infections that last a long time may lead to serious liver diseases like cirrhosis and liver cancer. About 1 in 5 people with chronic hepatitis B die from it. There are medicines that can help treat chronic hepatitis B infections.
Most babies who get hepatitis B develop chronic infection, unless they get treated right away. But treatments almost always work if your baby gets them quickly. Thats why its important for pregnant people to get tested for hepatitis B.