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Hepatitis B is an Infection of the Liver

Hepatitis B is an infection of the liver that causes the inflammation or swelling in the liver, occurs when tissues of the body becomes injured or infected. Inflammation can damage liver.


Hepatitis B is called acute hepatitis, if the infection occurs for a short period of time and goes away. Chronic hepatitis B occurs when the body is not able to fight off the virus; the infection remains over a long period of time and damage liver. 25 to 50 percent of children between the age group of 1 and 5 years develop chronic infection while only 5 percent will develop chronic hepatitis B during adulthood.


According to the research done; In the United States there are approximately 850,000 to 2.2 million people are suffering from hepatitis B. Since 1991 when the children start having vaccine for the disease, the rate of hepatitis infection goes down to 82 percent. Chronic hepatitis has been common in some parts of the world including Africa, Asia and some parts of the Middle East.


Causes of hepatitis B


In the United States, Sexual contact is the main cause of hepatitis B among adults. People who are infected with HIV are more likely to develop hepatitis B because both spread in a similar way. Sex with the same sex is also major cause of hepatitis B, use of drug through injection also major cause of spreading infection. There are some medicines which weaken the immune system of body such as steroids or chemotherapy medicines are also responsible that person develop hepatitis B. The disease also transmitted through contact with blood and semen of the infected person; when the used needle use in the body of healthy person.


It does not transmitted through food or water, hugging, kissing, coughing, sneezing, breastfeeding or sharing utensils. The virus of HB1 can survive at least 7 days outside the body of a person and even than it can cause infection if person is not taken any precaution like vaccine etc.


Symptoms of hepatitis B


Generally people infected with hepatitis B do not have any specific symptoms, people suffer from acute hepatitis within 2 to 5 months shows significant symptoms of hepatitis B, which includes dark yellow urine, gray or clay colored stools, feeling of tiredness, joint pain, and loss of appetite, vomiting, nausea and much more. In case of chronic hepatitis B, person may not experience symptoms of the disease until complications develop sometimes it may lead to liver cancer, because of that person should go for hepatitis B screening test.


Diagnosis of hepatitis B


Diagnosis of hepatitis B is done on the basis of medical and family history of a person. There are some physical examination is also conducted like skin color, swelling in lower leg or feet and abdominal swelling. In case of chronic hepatitis B doctors generally recommend additional tests to rule out the other causes of liver disease like Blood test, ultrasound of liver, liver biopsy etc.


Treatment of hepatitis B


Everybody does not need the treatment for chronic hepatitis B. If blood tests show the symptoms of hepatitis B that could damage the liver, then the doctors generally prescribe antiviral medicines to slow down the chances of liver damage. 

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