How Can You Avoid Hepatitis B
Getting the vaccine for hepatitis B is the best way toprevent hepatitis B. The hepatitis B vaccine is safe andeffective. It is usually given as 3-4 shots over a 6-monthperiod. You will not get hepatitis B from the vaccine.Ask your health care provider if you should get thisvaccine. It is recommended for:
- All infants, starting with the first dose of hepatitis B vaccine at birth
- Everyone under the age of 19 who has not been vaccinated
- People whose sex partners have hepatitis B
- Sexually active people who are not in a long-term, faithful relationship
- People with a sexually transmitted disease
- People who share needles, syringes, or other drug-injection equipment
- People who have close household contact with someone infected with the hepatitis B virus
- Health care and public safety workers at risk for exposure to blood or body fluids on the job
- People with kidney disease. This includes all those on dialysis and those being considered for dialysis.
- Adults with diabetes
- Before oral sex
- Have sex with only one partner who does not have sex with others and does not have hepatitis B.
Hepatitis B Vs Hepatitis C
Hepatitis has many different types. HBV and the hepatitis Cvirus have both acute and chronic forms.
The main difference between HBV and HCV is how they spread from person to person. Although HCV is transmissible via sexual activity, this is rare. HCV usually spreads when blood that carries the virus comes into contact with blood that does not.
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.
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Who Should Be Tested
Testing for hepatitis A is not routinely recommended.
CDC recommends hepatitis B testing for:
- Men who have sex with men
- People who inject drugs
- People with elevated ALT levels
- Infants born to HBV-infected mothers
CDC recommends hepatitis C testing for:
- All adults aged 18 years and older
- All pregnant women during each pregnancy
- About 24,900 new infections each year
- About 22,600 new infections in 2018
- Estimated 862,000 people living with hepatitis B
- About 50,300 new infections in 2018
- Estimated 2.4 million people living with hepatitis C
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What Are Hepatitis B Causes
Hepatitis B is caused by a virus called hepatitis B virus .
The number of people who get this disease has decreased according to the CDC. Rates have dropped up to around 20,000 diagnosed individuals. People between the ages of 20 and 49 are most infected by HBV. Only 5% to 10% of adults and children older than 5 ends up with chronic Hepatitis. But the numbers for those younger than 5 and even higher for infants infected at birth arent so good.
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What Precautions Should Hepatitis B Carriers Take
Chronic hepatitis B carriers should follow standard hygienic practices to ensure that close contacts are not directly contaminated by his or her blood or other body fluids. Carriers must not share razors, toothbrushes or any other object that may become contaminated with blood. In addition, susceptible household members, particularly sexual partners, should be immunized with hepatitis B vaccine. It is important for carriers to inform their dentist and health care providers.
Who Is Likely To Be Affected By Hepatitis A
Certain people are more at risk than others for hepatitis A. These include:
- People who use recreational drugs, both injected and non-injected types.
- Men who have sex with men.
- People who have close contact with someone who already is infected.
- People who have close contact with someone adopted from a country where hepatitis A is common, or people who travel to countries where hepatitis A is common.
- People who work with non-human primates.
- People who have clotting factor issues, including hemophilia.
- People who work in child care, or children who are in childcare.
Hepatitis A can last from a few weeks to several months.
Hepatitis B can range from a mild illness, lasting a few weeks, to a serious, life-long condition. More than 90% of unimmunized infants who get infected develop a chronic infection, but 6%10% of older children and adults who get infected develop chronic hepatitis B.
Hepatitis C can range from a mild illness, lasting a few weeks, to a serious, life-long infection. Most people who get infected with the hepatitis C virus develop chronic hepatitis C.
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Whats The Outlook For People With Chronic Hep B
The majority of people who have hep B as adults fully recover within 1 to 3 months. Children under the age of 5 are at the highest risk of developing chronic hep B infection.
Medications can help manage chronic hep B, but about 15 to 25 percent of people die prematurely from liver cancer, cirrhosis, or liver failure.
More than half of liver cancers are caused by chronic hep B infection. Taking your medications as prescribed and following your healthcare professionals recommendations can help you minimize your chances of complications.
How To Get Tested For Hepatitis B Infection
We have shortlisted the top 3 laboratories networks providing Hepatitis B Testing in the US, mentioned them below.
Hepatitis B test cost ranges between 24$ and $52 in different labs and facilities across the U.S. The cost of the HBV test also depends on the type of test i.e. HBV antibody & Hepatitis antigen test.
No prior appointment is required. Compare the cost, order your test online and visit the nearest lab during lab business hours. Complete the procedure and get the results in your email in 2 to 3 business days.
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Hepatitis B Testing And Diagnosis
Its essential to receive a laboratory confirmation of the diagnosis. A number of effective tests are available to diagnose hepatitis B and monitor the condition of infected people. The tests can be used to distinguish chronic and acute infections.
Detection of Anti-HBs by using test cassette, the result showed positive
They involve blood or serum tests that detect either antibodies or vial antigens. Laboratory diagnosis of the infection screens the detection of the surface antigen HBsAg. Acute hepatitis B infection is characterized by the presence of this surface antigen and immunoglobulin M antibody to the core antigen. Chronic infection is diagnosed if HBsAg persists for 6 months. Persistence of the surface antigen HBsAg is the major marker of risk for liver cancer and a chronic disease later in life. Follow-up tests are necessary to detect if the disease has gone. Interpretation of the tests for detection of HBV is complex. The results need to be carefully discussed with health care professionals.
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
- close contacts, such as family members, of someone with 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 the activities mentioned above 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.
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History Of Hepatitis B Virus
In 1965, the âAustralian Antigenâ was then discovered and identified as the Hepatitis B virus surface antigen HBsAg. This was one of the first breakthroughs in the effort to understand the pathology of viral hepatitis that instigated jaundice in those infected with HBV. It allowed industrialized countries to reliably diagnose asymptomatic carries of Hepatitis B virus and the discovery provided healthcare professionals a way to screen blood for Hep B before administering blood transfusions.
Today, Hepatitis B Virus infection is easily avoided by receiving one of the Hepatitis B vaccines. The plasma-derived HepB vaccine was licensed in 1981 and was subsequently replaced in 1986 with the recombinant HepB vaccine. Engerix B was approved in 1989 and Heplisav-B was approved in 2017. All of which provide protection against HBV.
What Are The Symptoms Of Hepatitis
Initial symptoms of hepatitis are vague and could be attributed to other things.
They include nausea, vomiting, fever, loss of appetite, and vomiting. As hepatitis progresses, other symptoms include dark urine and light-colored stool. The more serious symptoms include jaundice, which is the yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes.
As this inflammation of the liver becomes more prominent, then you get the most distinctive symptoms, like the whites of the eyes turn yellow and a yellowish cast on the skin, Schaffner said. It can be accompanied by light stools and dark urine. The symptoms of hepatitis are vague until it gets more serious.
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Do You Need Vaccinations Before Traveling Abroad
The CDC divides travel vaccinations into three categories: 1) routine, 2) recommended, and 3) required. The only vaccine classified as required by International Health Regulations is the yellow fever vaccination for travel to certain countries in sub-Saharan Africa and tropical South America.
Routine vaccinations are those that are normally administered, usually during childhood, in the United States. These include immunizations against:
How Is It Treated
Acute hepatitis B: There are no drugs to treat acutehepatitis B. Doctors usually suggest rest, goodnutrition, and fluids. Some people may need to be inthe hospital.
Chronic hepatitis B: People with chronic hepatitis Bvirus infection should receive care from a provider whohas experience treating hepatitis B. These providerscan be:
- Some internists or family medicine providers
- Infection specialists
If you have chronic hepatitis B, get checked regularlyfor signs of liver disease. Discuss treatment with yourhealth care provider. Not every person with chronichepatitis B needs treatment. If you show no signs ofliver damage, your provider will continue to check youfor liver disease.
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Genetics Of Infection With Hepatitis B
Several genes, many having to do with the host immune response, have been implicated in the susceptibility to chronic hepatitis B infection. The TNFSF9 gene encodes the CD137L protein, and its expression was found to be significantly higher in patients with chronic hepatitis B infection than in healthy controls. Its expression was also found to be higher in patients who had chronic hepatitis B with cirrhosis, in contrast to those without cirrhosis.
Research done in West Africa, where 90% of the population is infected with hepatitis B, shows that certain human leukocyte antigen class II haplotypes influence the likelihood of chronic infection. For reasons that are not completely clear, patients in the study who were heterozygous for the HLA-DRA and HLA-DQA1 genes were found to be less likely to develop a chronic infection.
Several additional genes are associated with susceptibility to hepatitis B infection. The IFNGR1 gene is located at 6q23.3 and encodes the interferon gamma receptor 1, which has an important role in cell-to-cell communications and can be activated in response to infection, but it is not specific to hepatitis B. Patients with significant dysfunction in this gene have a particular immune deficiency that leaves them extremely susceptible to mycobacterial infections.
Variations in vaccine response
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
- 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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Key Facts About Hepatitis B
- Hepatitis B is a liver infection capable of causing both short-term and long-term disease.
- The virus is contracted through blood or body fluids of someone who is infected.
- The virus is up to 100 times more infectious than HIV.
- Two thirds of people who have caught Hepatitis B virus remain unaware of their infection.
- Every year more than 780,000 fatalities are registered due to complications caused by hepatitis B such as cirrhosis and liver cancer.
- Hepatitis B is a major occupational hazard for health care professionals.
- It is possible to prevent the disease by taking a safe and effective vaccine.
What Are The Potential Complications Of Hepatitis B
Chronic hepatitis B can lead to serious complications. Ongoing inflammation in the liver can causecirrhosis, which is scarring in the liver. This condition prevents the liver from functioning normally.
If the damage continues, end stage liver disease and liver failure can occur. A liver transplant is the only effective treatment for liver failure.
Another possible complication of chronic hepatitis B is that it puts you at risk of developing hepatitis D. Hepatitis D can only develop in someone with hepatitis B, and it can cause any symptoms and liver disease to get worse.
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Enhancing Healthcare Team Outcomes
As hepatitis B infection is highly transmissible via accidental needlesticks, healthcare providers involved in taking care of a patient with HBV should exercise caution and practice proper preventative measures such as vaccination. Patient education should also include counseling about HBV transmission. The interprofessional teamâs role is crucial in ensuring the best patient outcomes.
The vaccination rate is low in many developing countries, and the majority of patients are undiagnosed. Educational programs and improved awareness among the general public and healthcare providers are necessary to improve the identification of the patients, reduce transmission of the disease, and reduce the complications of hepatitis B infection.
Hepatitis B Surface Antigen Test
A hepatitis B surface antigen test shows if you have an active infection. A positive result means you have hepatitis B and can transmit the virus to others. 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 state of a hepatitis B infection.
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What Are The Risk Factors For Hepatitis C
In the United States, having been born between 1945 and 1965, and the use of illicit injection drugs are the two most common factors associated with hepatitis C. Other risk factors include
- having received blood transfusions prior to 1990,
- hemodialysis, and
- having greater than 10-lifetime sex partners.
Population studies show that hepatitis C is more common among males, non-Hispanic blacks, those with low income, and those with less than a high school education.
People who have HIV/AIDS have an increased risk for hepatitis C, because both these diseases are transmitted in the same ways, through blood and body fluids. If someone has both infections, that person is said to be co-infected with HIV and HCV.
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Should I Be Screened For Hepatitis B
Screening is testing for a disease in people who have no symptoms. Doctors use blood tests to screen for hepatitis B. Many people who have hepatitis B dont have symptoms and dont know they are infected with hepatitis B. Screening tests can help doctors diagnose and treat hepatitis B, which can lower your chances of developing serious health problems.
Your doctor may recommend screening for hepatitis B if you9,14
- were born in an area of the world where 2 percent or more of the population has hepatitis B infection, which includes Africa, Asia, and parts of the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and South America
- didnt receive the hepatitis B vaccine as an infant and have parents who were born in an area where 8 percent or more of the population had hepatitis B infection, which includes sub-Saharan Africa and parts of Asia
- are HIV-positive
- are a man who has sex with men
- have lived with or had sex with a person who has hepatitis B
- have an increased chance of infection due to other factors
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