Hepatitis B is a specific disease that occurs because of the Hepatitis B Virus. This virus causes liver inflammation and can lead to other complications and even death. Hepatitis B or HBV is one of five other variants of the Hepatitis virus. The others are classified as Hepatitis C, E, D, and A. From statistics gathered by the CDC or the Center for Disease Control, between 2,000 to 4,000 individuals succumb to complications of Hepatitis B. The HBV infection can also be classified as acute or chronic.
Acute And Chronic Hepatitis B
The symptoms of acute hepatitis B manifests rather quickly in infected adults. Children are not often victims of this disease. They are more likely to develop chronic hepatitis B.
Chronic hepatitis B takes more time to develop than Chronic Hepatitis B. Symptoms of chronic hepatitis B can go unnoticed for some time and may only manifest if complications occur. CDC studies show that as much as 1.4 million Americans have developed chronic hepatitis B.
Transmission Of Hepatitis B
It is a common question that is frequently asked if hepatitis B is a contagious disease. Unfortunately the answer is yes. HBV is a very contagious disease that can spread rather rapidly under the right circumstances. This is because you can contract the virus in a number of ways that are very ordinary and common. The most common way to get infected is by exposure to infected bodily fluids. These are saliva, blood, and the like. Utensils like needles, toothbrushes and razors can also carry the virus and infect you. This makes unprotected sex, oral sex, or other close contact with an HBV infected person a very high-risk activity. Pregnant mothers can also transfer the virus to the fetuses that they carry.
Risk Factors And High Risk Individuals
Some individuals are at a very high risk of contracting HBV. People travelling to countries of a high HBV rate are at risk. Homosexuals are at risk. Promiscuous people with more than one sex partner are also at a high risk. People with liver and/or kidney disease are also at a high risk of contracting HBV. People over the age of 60 with diabetes are also at risk.
Symptoms Of Hepatitis B
There are many symptoms of HBV to watch out for. They may also not manifest after a long period of months or even years. The common symptoms are as follows:
- Darkened urine
- Muscle or joint pain
- High fever or flu like symptoms
- Sharp abdominal pain
- A general feeling of lack of energy or weakness
- Jaundice on the skin and eyes
If you develop these symptoms or suspect that you may have HBV, it is very important to notify your doctor ASAP. Do not hesitate. This way you may still be able to prevent it’s full infection. There are routine screening tests to determine and diagnose HBV in your system. Immediate diagnosis and treatment are always the best and most preferred outcomes for HBV.