Hepatitis B is a liver infection caused by the hepatitis B virus. Acute hepatitis B is a short-term illness. It can be mild with few symptoms or a serious condition requiring hospitalization. Chronic hepatitis B is a lifelong infection. It can cause serious health problems. Liver damage, cirrhosis, cancer, and death are all possible.
How is it transmitted?
Hepatitis B spreads when infected body fluids enter the body of a person who’s not infected. This can happen during birth, sex or sharing needles. It can spread through direct contact or even sharing toothbrushes or razors. Hepatitis B is not spread through food, water or eating utensils. Breastfeeding, hugging, kissing, coughing, or sneezing will not spread it either.
How can it be prevented?
The best way to prevent hepatitis B is through vaccination. The hepatitis B vaccine is safe and effective. The full series of shots must be completed for full protection. Practice safe behaviors. Know the health history of sexual partners. Avoid sharing personal items. Never share needles. This helps prevent the spread of hepatitis B.
How can it be treated?
Unfortunately, there is no medication for acute hepatitis B infection. An infected person should rest and drink plenty of fluids. They should get supportive treatment to remain as comfortable as possible. There are several antiviral medications for chronic hepatitis B infection. But, the success rate is 25% to 50%.
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