Hepatitis B core antibody is said to be present once there is an acute or chronic infection in the body. Acute infection in this light usually occurs when someone is newly infected with the virus, while the chronic infection, on the other hand, is long-term and in most cases, without symptoms. It is important to add here that the Hepatitis B core antibody is an advanced infection of the Hepatitis B virus.
The body’s immune system gives rise to antibodies at the core of HBV during the active stage of infection. The Hepatitis B core antibodies then begin to appear in the bloodstream several weeks after one has been infected with the virus.
In most persons, the virus clears up on its own within 6 months, but in some cases, the virus remains. This is called having a chronic infection and may lead to liver cell damage, scarring, or liver cancer.
The possible Symptoms which Hepatitis B may occasion
The symptoms easily recognized starts with a mild flu, which can easily be mistaken for an ordinary cold. In some cases, persons with the virus do not have symptoms at all until the infection gets to the chronic stage. Other symptoms are:
- Loss of appetite
- Jaundice or yellow skin and eyes
- Muscle aches
- Stomach ache (abdominal pain)
- Colored urine
The Risk factors that can expose one to Hepatitis B virus
What puts one at the risk of having Hepatitis B Virus includes:
- Having unprotected sex with an infected person
- Being a child born to an infected mother
- Healthcare workers that are exposed to blood
- Common use of needles
- Getting a blood transfusion or an organ transplant
- Being a man who has sex with other men
- Living with someone who has the virus
The Importance of hepatitis B Core antibody testing
It is very important to carry out the test from time to time in order to be certain that one does not have the virus. It is also advisable to see a physician once a person notices any of the above-mentioned symptoms or indulge in any of the above-mentioned risk-factor acts which, thereby, endangers or putting him or her at risk of contracting the virus.
It is necessary, also, for a pregnant woman to also get tested during pregnancy and ascertain her status of the existence of the virus in order to protect her unborn child at birth.
Hepatitis B Core Antibody Test Results
Test results vary from person to person, depending on the gender, age, the method of test, and previous health history. In most cases, the results are negative or positive. Negative or non-reactive results simply means that there is non-existence of Hepatitis B core IgM antibodies in the body, while a positive or reactive result means that one is actively infected with the Hepatitis B virus.
Most people with positive results often recover within 6 months and in some circumstances where this occurs, one will have immunity from the virus and would not be able to infect others. Where recovery does not occur within the period of 6 months, the virus may stay in the blood, thereby resulting in liver problems.
What are The Preventive measures for Hepatitis B?
Hepatitis B is preventable when one adheres to the following methods:
- By avoiding unprotected sex. Having unprotected sex with a partner heightens the risks of one contracting Hepatitis B virus. Therefore, it is advisable to use condoms when engaging in sexual activities, especially when casual.
- Avoid the use of contaminated or used needles. It is advisable to always use new needles while applying drugs that need to be injected.
Individuals that are not vaccinated, yet exposed to Hepatitis B are advised to be examined by a healthcare worker as soon as possible. Hepatitis B vaccination and the injecting of Hepatitis B immune globulin (HBIG) effectively reduces the high risk of Hepatitis B disease in people exposed to the infection if administered on time, i.e., within one week of a needle piercing or sexual intercourse.
Pregnant women should get their blood tested to ascertain if they are infected because if a mother is infected, the infant stands a high chance of being infected too. It is also important to add that an infant born to such mother should be vaccinated and injected with HBIG at birth. This has an 85% to 90% chance of eliminating the high risk of Hepatitis B in the child.
Hepatitis B Core Antibody Treatment
Acute Hepatitis B does not usually require treatment as 95% of acutely infected patients recover on their own with a simple rest regime and proper hydration, even without medication. Chronic Hepatitis B infected persons, on the other hand, are placed on antiviral medications, which help to combat the virus and mitigate the risk of liver complications.
It is quite easy to manage Hepatitis B at any level if one subjects the situation to be properly handled by medical personnel and follows the prescriptions alongside treatment instructions wholeheartedly.