Hepatitis B is a serious liver disease caused by hepatitis B virus (HBV). It is spread through blood and bodily fluids containing blood. It can be transmitted by having unprotected sex, intravenous drug use and from an infected mother to her newborn at childbirth. HBV is 100 times more contagious than HIV virus. Way to prevent hepatitis B is to get vaccinated, but this can’t help treat people who are already infected.
Hepatitis B vaccine is routinely given to newborns and 12-year-old children.
Body of a healthy individual can react differently to hepatitis B infection. In most cases (about 50%) there are no symptoms. If there are symptoms they could be the following:
- Tiredness, fatigue and muscle pain
- Loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting
Many people with these symptoms think they have the flu!