Hepatitis B is a serious liver infection caused by the hepatitis B virus . For some people, especially children, Hepatitis B can cause liver cancer, cirrhosis, and liver failure . Hepatitis B vaccination is recommended for children and adults who have already been infected with the virus, and for those who will be infected in the future.

Hepatitis B Vaccination Benefits

While most people are fully protected from Hepatitis B infection by their first Hepatitis B vaccine , young children are at increased risk of becoming infected with the virus because of their smaller immune systems. (However, infection in young children is extremely rare, with fewer than 150 reported cases in the United States each year.)

Hepatitis B vaccine

Every year, children ages 5 to 9 who have never received an Hib vaccine (or have not yet had a Hib vaccine at all) are at a higher risk of becoming infected with the Hib virus , a serious disease that causes liver damage, if they are exposed to infected adults or other children.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B are the leading causes of preventable acute liver disease in the United States. Because of their greater risk for these diseases, children are more likely than adults to receive a Hepatitis B vaccine at a young age.

Is hepatitis B common?

Hepatitis B has a low incidence among people with immune deficiency. Most of the people with Hepatitis B have healthy immune systems. Hepatitis B and its manifestations do not become serious unless it is spread from person to person.

It is less likely to cause harm if a person is not infected with hepatitis B.Around 600,000 people worldwide are infected with hepatitis B virus. In the United States, many people are infected with Hepatitis B who are not aware of it.

Hepatitis B is most commonly spread through sharing foods, drinking beverages, sharing needles, or exposure to the blood or other body fluids of an infected person.

Often people with chronic liver disease suffer from anemia and other serious symptoms

Hepatitis B symptoms:

Signs and symptoms of hepatitis B range from a mild infection to a life-threatening illness. A serious infection may be caused by a virus or bacteria that causes a febrile illness.

If you are infected with Hepatitis B virus it is possible to catch the disease from other people but it is very rare to contract the disease from yourself. Without proper medical care, even if you don’t know you are infected you can develop Hepatitis B or the related disease Hepatitis C.

When a person who is not infected with Hepatitis B is exposed to blood, urine or other body fluids of an infected person it is a significant risk to the body. Some doctors and scientists believe Hepatitis B is a health risk because it is a very common disease in non-industrialized countries.

Hepatitis B and its manifestations:

People with hepatitis B virus infection are at risk of a wide variety of serious symptoms. The hepatitis B virus is spread through direct contact with the blood or other body fluids of an infected person. They can also catch the infection through direct contact with contaminated needles.

Some of the Hepatitis B symptoms and effects of the disease:

The effects of hepatitis B virus infection include severe liver disease, joint pain, muscle pain, fatigue, loss of appetite, loss of memory, depression, jaundice, jaundice-yellowing of the skin and eyes, abdominal pain, and nausea and vomiting.

The symptoms of hepatitis B virus can be caused by a liver or liver-related illness or directly by the presence of the hepatitis B virus. It may also appear as a painful or uncomfortable swelling or lump at the injection site that is considered a body fluid inflammation.

In severe cases, an infected person will lose a lot of body fluid. If this happens, the person will be at risk for an increased risk of hemorrhaging and other serious complications, including an increased risk of liver failure.

If you or a family member have been exposed to the Hepatitis B virus, treatment is available to help you recover. The drugs that are available can help lower your risk of chronic health problems.

Once you recover, the viruses in your body will be destroyed, so you may have a normal life again. Many people with Hepatitis B recovery from the disease even with the use of these special medications and with a general medical care plan.

If you are lucky enough, you may be able to continue your normal activities, such as your work, your school, social activities and occasional sport, but you should get the necessary medical attention if you develop any serious complications.

Infection can also be spread by social contact

For instance, hepatitis B is easily transmitted by sharing drugs or supplies and even simple supplies such as toothbrushes. Hepatitis B can be passed by skin-to-skin contact and sexual contact.

It is important to take good precautions to protect yourself from these risk factors.If you have been exposed to the hepatitis B virus, or if you or a family member has been diagnosed with hepatitis B, get the proper medical attention.

If your infection is mild, your doctor may recommend you to drink extra fluids to assist in the healing process.

If you have hepatitis B infection, the best way to prevent the recurrence of the disease is to follow the same infection prevention and treatment protocols as well as taking antiviral medicine .

However, you should always discuss the procedure for obtaining hepatitis B vaccine with your doctor. You can find more information on the hepatitis B vaccination on the CDC website .

Risks of hepatitis B

The risks of hepatitis B infection increases if you smoke or have a history of smoking. You should have a blood test to check your levels of hepatitis B surface antibody (anti-HBs) as well as hepatitis B surface antigen (anti-HBc). It is highly likely that you have hepatitis B if you have signs and symptoms of hepatitis, have been exposed to blood or blood products or have had sexual contact with an infected person.

How can I protect myself?

The Hepatitis B vaccine can be given in either an inactivated (killed) form or a live-attenuated (live) form. The carrier-mediated protective effect of the vaccine is due to the development of an effective B cell mediated immune response.

How do I know if I have hepatitis B?

Because of possible adverse reactions, you should receive a prior warning from your health care provider if you or a family member are at risk of acquiring hepatitis B.

NAC is a drug used to inhibit the Hepatitis B surface antigen. It can help protect you from catching hepatitis B.NRS can prevent the hepatitis B virus from replicating, thereby reducing the risk of developing liver damage and cirrhosis.

That’s why people with hepatitis B should ask their health care provider about and take prescription drug containing NAC to protect themselves from infection with the hepatitis B virus.

Otherwise, they should not take any drug containing NAC. Keep NAC on hand in case you need to use the drug again to protect yourself from hepatitis B.

Complications of Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B may lead to serious complications which include liver damage, fever, anemia and in some cases death. It is important to note that it is possible to be infected with hepatitis B without being pregnant.

Hepatitis B is spread through direct contact with blood, semen or vaginal fluids of an infected person. These fluids should never be shared between people, nor used in tooth brushing, toothpaste or juice preparation.

Hepatitis B is more likely to affect women of child bearing age, and to circulate in the US more often during the spring and summer months.

Other Risk Factors

Other risk factors include living in a high-risk area such as prison, or having received medical treatment for a blood infection such as hepatitis. Many Americans have the potential to become infected with hepatitis B, but not all are aware of this risk and many are unaware of the warning signs and symptoms that need to be present in order to be diagnosed and treated.

Diagnosis

Tests that can help diagnose hepatitis B are quite helpful in making the diagnosis, but they can also be time consuming and costly. Most doctors do not carry out tests or tests for a particular condition, or they may be limited to the use of ‘oral’ (mouth) tests for symptoms (eg, bleeding in the mouth) only. This suggests that the chronic viral hepatitis B is not caught or treated until a secondary symptom is present, such as a problem with the liver, or through immunization or treatment of other conditions.

Malignancies of the liver In the United States, hepatitis B is the second most common cause of liver cancer, after smoking. If people with chronic hepatitis B are diagnosed with liver cancer at an early stage, treatment is available that can reduce the likelihood of death and decrease the risk of liver scarring and liver cancer progression.

Diagnosis usually involves blood tests, sometimes with biopsy, and investigations to look for diseases or conditions. A final test that may be used in combination with these measures is a CT scan, although the health care provider may still perform some other tests.

The end point of hepatitis B infection is cirrhosis, which is the deposition of scarring liver tissue in the liver. This may lead to chronic liver disease.

Cure for Hepatitis B

There is no cure for hepatitis B. Hepatitis B is a particularly serious liver disease, with a higher prevalence of liver cancer, and can be fatal if untreated. Patients who get the virus from a mother and/or father can be infected for life.

Hepatitis B is a sexually transmitted disease (STD), and infection has been found to affect men as well as women. By the time people become aware that they may have been infected, it is too late to prevent infection.

Health care providers in the United States and other countries should be aware of the high prevalence of hepatitis B in all ethnic groups, including black and Hispanic people, women, people with disabilities, and people living in rural and isolated areas. They should also be aware that chronic hepatitis B infection can cause serious problems, including chronic liver disease, and that it can also be deadly. Hepatitis B infection is the leading cause of cirrhosis of the liver.

This disease can be fatal within five years. Patients with chronic hepatitis B infection may have early signs of liver failure, including enlargement of the liver, fever, and fatigue. Prognosis of chronic hepatitis B infection is poor if the condition worsens or if patients are on a liver transplant list.

Treatment options for Hepatitis B

Antiviral Medications:

Hepatitis B can be treated with many antiviral medications. List of antiviral medications include

  • entecavir (Baraclude)
  • tenofovir (Viread)
  • lamivudine (Epivir)
  • adefovir (Hepsera)
  • telbivudine (Tyzeka)
Antiviral Injections:

Interferon alfa-2b is an Antiviral & antiseptic injection used to treat infections like Hepatitis B. It produces a substance named Interferon alfa-2b (Intron A) which was usually produced by the body, but it was originally sequenced and produced in the laboratory of Charles Weissmann at the University of Zurich. This is usually given to Young people who are infected with Hepatitis B.

Liver Transplant:

In some rare cases, if your liver was damaged seriously, the patient needs to consider liver transplant as an option. The doctor may be able to tell whether you need a liver transplant or not.

Coping and Support

If you’ve been diagnosed with hepatitis B infection, the following suggestions might help you cope. It’s not as easy as people think.

  • Stop drinking and using alcohol, even in small amounts.
  • See your doctor if you have frequent muscle aches or trouble sleeping.
  • If you are over 35, reduce alcohol consumption and drink socially.
  • If you are over 35, stop drinking completely and restrict alcohol to no more than two standard drinks per day.
  • See your doctor if you experience confusion, drowsiness, blurred vision, loss of balance or dizziness, or any pain in your lower stomach, upper stomach, or abdomen.
  • If you experience nausea, vomiting, lack of appetite, or loss of appetite.
  • See your doctor if you experience symptoms of muscle aches, chills, fever, or fatigue.

References

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2809016/
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19399811/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK555945/
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