An introduction to Hepatitis “B”

Hepatitis is an infection of the liver caused by any of the half dozen viruses. There are mainly five hepatitis viruses have been recognized to the date, called as Hepatitis A, B, C, D and E. All of these viruses can cause an acute disease with symptoms lasting several weeks including yellowing of the skin and eyes (Jaundice); dark urine; extreme fatigue; nausea; vomiting and abdominal pain. It may take long duration to recover again

Hepatitis B (Formerly known as serum hepatitis) is an acute systemic infection with major pathology in the liver caused by Hepatitis B virus (HBV). It can cause chronic infection in patient never get rid of the virus and many years later develop cirrhosis of liver or liver cancer. Hepatitis B is a virus that causes acute and chronic hepatitis. Persons who are chronically infected with hepatitis B are at an increased risk for the development of cirrhosis and liver cancer. The Incubation period of Hepatitis B Virus is generally 2-6 months. Hepatitis B is only type causing chronic hepatitis for which a vaccine is available. The available vaccine for Hepatitis B is drug lamivudine.

The common symptoms of hepatitis B are Jaundice (yellowish discolouration of eyes, tongue, skin & urine), Fever, Abdomen pain, Loss appetite, Nausea & Vomiting.

Transmission of Hepatitis B virus generally occurs most commonly and efficiently through percutaneous, sexual, and perinatal exposures. Hepatitis B Virus is transmitted through contact with blood or body fluids of an infected person in the same way as Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), the virus that causes AIDS. However, HBV is 50 to 100 times more infectious than HIV.

Hepatitis is more likely among Drug addicts, unsafe sexual workers, Babies born from mother with Hepatitis B, People getting frequent blood transfusion

Hepatitis is prevented by taking vaccine. You can also protect yourself and others from Hepatitis B by using a condom when you have sex, not sharing needles with anyone, wearing gloves if you have to touch anyone’s blood, not using an infected person’s toothbrush, razor, or anything else that could have blood on it, making sure any tattooing or body piercing is done with clean tools.

 

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