Hepatitis B is caused by Hepatitis B virus and it damages the liver when left untreated. A chronic Hepatitis B infection can mean that the virus can still be killed off by your immune system and can be cleared within 6 months. Hepatitis B can lead to other illnesses such as liver failure or cirrhosis. An adult diagnosed with early Hepatitis B infection has a chance of fully recovering from it but children or infants with Hepatitis B have a higher chance of having liver damage. Hepatitis B has no cure yet but it can be treated to avoid infecting others and to help the infected person live a better life.
What are the Symptoms of Hepatitis B?
The symptoms of Hepatitis B appear usually after 120 days of being exposed and infected with the virus. Among the common symptoms of Hepatitis B infection are abdominal pains, having dark urine, fever, having joint pain, loss of appetite, experiencing nausea and vomiting, weakness and fatigue, yellowing of your skin and the whites of your eyes or jaundice.
What causes Hepatitis B infection?
There are a lot of ways for a person to contract Hepatitis B virus. Among the common ways of getting infected are:
- Sexual contact: if you got exposed and contracted the blood, saliva, semen or vaginal fluid of someone with Hepatitis B
- Needle Sharing – if you got injected with a needle used by someone with Hepatitis B
- Accidentally got pierced by an infected needle or object – since Hepatitis B can be transmitted through exposure with infected blood, getting pricked or pierced with a needle used by someone with Hepatitis B can lead to Hepatitis B infection
- Pregnancy – a pregnant woman Hepatitis B can pass the infection to her baby. right now, vaccination can be a possible way of saving the baby from having Hepatitis B but it doesn’t work all the time.
Two Levels of Hepatitis B Infection
- Acute Hepatitis B Infection
If diagnosed early and treated early, acute Hepatitis B infection can be cleared within six months because the body’s immune system can help in fighting off the virus. If left untreated though, it can lead to chronic Hepatitis B infection.
- Chronic Hepatitis B Infection
If you have Hepatitis B for more than six months, then it is already classified as chronic Hepatitis B infection and it can become a life-long disease. It can also lead to other complications such as liver damage or cirrhosis. Children with weaker immune system often end up having chronic Hepatitis B infection and after a decade or so, liver damage follows.
There are a lot of ways to avoid contracting Hepatitis B but if by accident it happened, the best thing to do is to be tested immediately and to seek medical attention. The sad thing about Hepatitis B is spreading it without knowing because you have not had the courage to test yourself. Worst of all, transmitting it to someone you love even when you could have prevented it in the first place.