Sunday, May 10, 2015

Hepatitis B


Hepatitis B


Your liver is the largest organ inside your body. It helps your body digest food, store energy, and remove poisons. Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver. One type, hepatitis B, is caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV). Hepatitis B spreads by contact with an infected person's blood, semen, or other body fluid. An infected woman can give hepatitis B to her baby at birth.

Hepatitis B is a virus that infects the liver. Most adults who get it have it for a short time and then get better. This is called acute hepatitis B.
Sometimes the virus causes a long-term infection, called chronic hepatitis B. Over time, it can damage your liver. Babies and young children infected with the virus are more likely to get chronic hepatitis B.
You can have hepatitis B and not know it. You may not have symptoms. If you do, they can make you feel like you have the flu. But as long as you have the virus, you can spread it to others.
It's caused by the hepatitis B virus. It is spread through contact with the blood and body fluids of an infected person.

You may get hepatitis B if you:-

  • Have sex with an infected person without using a condom.
  • Share needles (used for injecting drugs) with an infected person.
  • Get a tattoo or piercing with tools that weren't sterilized.
  • Share personal items like razors or toothbrushes with an infected person.
A mother who has the virus can pass it to her baby during delivery. Medical experts recommend that all pregnant women get tested for hepatitis B. If you have the virus, your baby can get shots to help prevent infection with the virus.
You cannot get hepatitis B from casual contact such as hugging, kissing, sneezing, coughing, or sharing food or drinks.
Many people with hepatitis B don't know they have it, because they don't have symptoms. If you do have symptoms, you may just feel like you have the flu. Symptoms include:
  • Feeling very tired.
  • Mild fever.
  • Headache.
  • Not wanting to eat.
  • Feeling sick to your stomach or vomiting.
  • Belly pain.
  • Diarrhea or constipation.
  • Muscle aches and joint pain.
  • Skinrash.
  • Yellowish eyes and skin (jaundice). Jaundice usually appears only after other symptoms have started to go away.

Most people with chronic hepatitis B have no symptoms

A simple blood test can tell your doctor if you have the hepatitis B virus now or if you had it in the past. Your doctor also may be able to tell if you have had the vaccine to prevent the virus.
If your doctor thinks you may have liver damage from hepatitis B, he or she may use a needle to take a tiny sample of your liver for testing. This is called a liver biopsy.

What are the risks from hepatitis B vaccine ?

Hepatitis B is a very safe vaccine. Most people do not have any problems with it. The vaccine contains non-infectious material, and cannot cause hepatitis B infection. Severe problems are extremely rare. Severe allergic reactions are believed to occur about once in 1.1 million
doses.

Treatment of short-term (acute) hepatitis B

Treatment depends on whether you :
  • Have been recently infected with the virus.
  • Have the symptoms of an acute infection.
  • Have chronic infection.
If you have not gotten a hepatitis B vaccine and think you may have been exposed to the virus, you should get a shot of hepatitis B immunoglobulin (HBIG) and the first of three shots of the hepatitis B vaccine. It is important to receive this treatment within 7 days after a needle stick and within 2 weeks after sexual contact that may have exposed you to the virus. The sooner you receive treatment after exposure, the better the treatment works.
If you have the symptoms of acute infection, treatment with antiviral medicine usually isn't needed. Home treatment—such as eating well, drinking plenty of fluids, and avoiding alcohol and drugs— usually will relieve your symptoms.
In some cases, you may be given medicine to treat an acute infection. But using medicine usually isn't done unless a person is very sick.

Treatment of long-term (chronic) hepatitis B

Treatment depends on how active the virus is in your body and your chance of liver damage. The goal of treatment is to stop liver damage by keeping the virus from multiplying.
Antiviral medicine is used if the virus is active and you are at risk for liver damage. Medicine slows the ability of the virus to multiply.
Antiviral treatment isn't given to everyone who has chronic hepatitis B. 

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