HBV or Hepatitis B virus is the causing Hepatitis B infection. This is an infection that targets the liver. There are 5 types of Hepatitis viruses and they are called Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Hepatitis D and Hepatitis E. Hepatitis B is one of the leading Hepatitis infections that kills in the US alone, killing at least 2,000 to 4,000 people annually. These deaths are associated with the complications caused by Hepatitis B infection.
Hepatitis B infection can be chronic or acute. Acute Hepatitis B in adults disappears without treatment if the body’s immune system is strong enough to fight it. In children, acute Hepatitis B rarely happens because they are protected with Hepatitis B vaccine. Children with Hepatitis B often suffers from chronic Hepatitis B and adults with untreated acute Hepatitis B often ends up having chronic Hepatitis B as well.
Chronic Hepatitis B is more dangerous than acute Hepatitis B. It requires serious treatment and it shows serious symptoms. When untreated, chronic Hepatitis B can lead to serious complications that can cause death.
How does Hepatitis B transfer from one person to another?
Hepatitis B is a contagious disease just like sexually transmitted infections. It can be transferred from one person to another through direct contact with the infected person’s blood or saliva as well as other bloody fluids like semen. Once exposed to the Hepatitis B virus, symptoms will slowly appear after few days. Once exposed to the virus, you will have the virus in you and you can infect others even if you are not showing any symptoms at all.
Other ways that Hepatitis B can be transferred to other people is through mother to baby during childbirth, using an infected needle that an infected person with Hepatitis B had used, having close direct contact with someone infected with Hepatitis B, having sexual contact with someone infected with Hepatitis B and using an infected toothbrush or razor.
How would you know if you are infected with Hepatitis B?
The best day to find out if you have Hepatitis B is getting checked. If you don’t have that option, then watch out for the common symptoms of Hepatitis B such as having dark urine and muscle and joint pains. Loss of appetite and having fever are also among the symptoms of having Hepatitis B virus in your body. If you think you are exposed to someone infected with Hepatitis B virus or that your symptoms are very unusual, get medical attention immediately. Different type of blood tests will be done to check for the presence of Hepatitis B virus.
Hepatitis B virus can be deadly if left untreated especially for children. Do not let your children suffer Hepatitis B infection just because you forgot to have them vaccinated or you had them exposed to people with Hepatitis B infection. It also important to stay hygienic all the time especially if you are living in an area where everything is shared.