The main form of transmission of the Hepatitis B virus is through contact with infected blood or other bodily fluids. If a person is infected with the Hepatitis B virus, it will often manifest itself in the individual’s blood or semen. If the infected person is a female the virus will be present in vaginal discharge and even with breast milk if she is pregnant.
There are many means to transfer the Hepatitis B virus from person to person. The most common is sexual contact in the USA. But there are other means of transferring the virus-like using needles, razors, and other increments that have been in contact with infected blood or bodily fluids. When a mother infects the baby she is carrying with it, it is referred to as ‘vertical transmission.’ It is very unfortunate to note that this is the most common means of transferring the virus in high rate areas. The rate of infection and transmission can be reduced through a method called immunoprophylaxis.
How It Is Not Transmitted And Rarer Forms Of Transmission
It is also good to note the means that the Hepatitis B virus is not spread or contracted. Food and water cannot carry the disease and incidental contact like touching also cannot transfer the virus.
Note that the Hepatitis B virus can also be spread by blood transfusion, donation, and organ donation like livers, etc. However, it’s is very rare because donors are always screened beforehand to prevent such incidents.
What Is Acute Hepatitis B, And What Are its Symptoms?
Acute Hepatitis B is defined as the duration of time that goes by around one to four months after contracting the Hepatitis B virus. This window of time is usually accompanied by varying symptoms that indicate its presence. These symptoms may vary but below are the common ones.
* Fever or flu-like symptoms
* Pain in the joints and/or muscles
* A yellowing coloration that covers the eyes and skin called jaundice.
* Nausea and pain specifically in the liver area.
This pain in the liver area is often the result of the liver getting inflamed. In some rare cases, the liver may be left very damaged by the ravages of the virus. In this case, it is so weakened and damaged that normal liver functions are compromised. This condition is called ‘fulminant hepatitis. In such cases, the liver must be evaluated for a liver transplant immediately. Lamivudine or Epivir may be prescribed and has been known to have the moderate success of treatment in such cases.
The Immune System’s Role In Hepatitis B
An individual’s immune system is very important once he gets infected with Hepatitis B. This is because a robust immune system will ultimately determine if he recovers or not, and what happens after recovery. If the person’s immune response is strong and easily clears the virus he will recover however he is at a very high risk for liver injury. The liver could be damaged if the immune response is very strong. If a patient has a weak response to the Hepatitis B virus he is less likely to get liver damage and show symptoms but there is a trade-off. The trade-off is a higher chance to develop chronic Hepatitis B.