Women health


Hepatitis B: What You Should Know

The hepatitis B virus causes a liver infection called hepatitis B. (HBV). It might be severe and go away on its own. Some kinds, however, can be persistent, leading to cirrhosis and liver cancer.

HBV is a huge public health concern around the world. In fact, HBV-related liver disease claimed the lives of roughly 887,000 people globally in 2015.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 862,000 persons in the United States had a chronic HBV infection as of 2016.

HBV is a short-term infection that causes little long-term damage in most adults. However, 2–6% of adults infected with HBV acquire a chronic infection that can lead to liver cancer.

Around 90% of infants infected with the virus will acquire a persistent infection, according to Trusted Source.

Learn more about HBV, including transmission, early symptoms, and therapy, in this article.

What is hepatitis B and how does it affect you?

HBV can infect the liver and cause inflammation. A person can be infected with HBV and transfer the virus to others without even realizing it.

Some folks have no symptoms at all. Some people just get the first infection, which then goes away. Others develop a chronic illness as a result of their condition. In chronic cases, the virus attacks the liver for an extended period of time without being detected, causing irreparable liver damage.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) received 3,407 reports of HBV infection in 2017. However, if persons who do not disclose having the illness are included, the number of acute HBV infections could be closer to 22,100.

The Symptoms

HBV infections are common in children and infants. This is because HBV can be passed from a woman to her child during childbirth. HBV, on the other hand, is infrequently diagnosed in children since it has few symptoms.

Children under the age of five and people with a compromised immune system may not show symptoms of a new HBV infection. Around 30–50 percent of people aged 5 and up will display early indications and symptoms, according to Trusted Source.

Acute symptoms arise 60–150 days after virus exposure and can continue anywhere from a few weeks to six months.

A person with a chronic HBV infection may experience abdominal pain, tiredness, and aching joints on a regular basis.

Early signs and symptoms

If HBV causes symptoms early on, they may include the following:

  • Fever
  • A Joint pain
  • Low energy
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of hunger
  • Gut pain
  • Black urine
  • Clay-colored stools

Jaundice or yellowing of the skin and then whites of the eyes

The Transmission      

HBV is spread when blood, sperm, or other bodily fluid from someone who has the virus enters the body of someone who does not.

Infection can take the following forms:

when a woman infected with HBV delivers birth while sexually active as a result of sharing needles, syringes, or other drug-injection devices

as a result of using dangerous tattooing procedures

personal hygiene goods, such as razors and toothbrushes, are shared

Unsafe medical practices, such as reusing medical equipment, failing to use personal protective equipment, or improperly disposing of sharps, may put health workers at risk.

HBV cannot be transmitted through:

  1. food or water                            
  2. Shared intake of utensils
  3. Breastfeeding
  4. Hugging
  5. Kissing
  6. Holding hands
  7. Coughing
  8. Sneezing
  9. Insect bites

The virus may persist for at least 7 days outside the body. If HPV enters the body of someone who has not been vaccinated against it during this time, it might still cause infection.

Is it treatable?            

Although there is no cure for HBV at this time, the vaccine can help prevent infection.

Chronic infections can be treated with antiviral medicine. If chronic HBV causes permanent liver damage, a liver transplant may be necessary to improve long-term survival.

However, fewer patients may need a liver transplant as a result of chronic HBV if they receive an effective vaccine and use antiviral drugs.

While there is currently no cure for HBV, the vaccine can help prevent infection.

Antiviral medication can be used to treat chronic infections. If persistent HBV damages the liver permanently, a liver transplant may be required to improve long-term survival.

Patients who obtain a successful vaccine and take antiviral medicines may require fewer liver transplants as a result of chronic HBV.

The Treatment

An acute HBV infection has no specific therapy, cure, or medicine. The type of supportive care required will be determined by the symptoms.

Suspected exposure treatment

A post exposure “prophylaxis” strategy can be used by anyone who has been exposed to HBV.

HBV vaccine and hepatitis B immunoglobin is included (HBIG). After the exposure and before the onset of an acute infection, healthcare providers administer the prophylactic.

An infection that has already been established will not be cured by this protocol. It does, however, reduce the rate of acute infection.

Chronic HBV infection treatment

Antiviral medicines are available to treat chronic HBV infection.

This is not a treatment for persistent HBV infection. It can, however, prevent the virus from multiplying and progressing to advanced liver disease.

Cirrhosis or liver cancer can develop quickly and without warning in people who have a chronic HBV infection. Liver cancer can be lethal within months of diagnosis if a person does not have access to sufficient therapy or facilities.

Chronic HBV infection necessitates regular medical examination and a liver scan every 6–12 month. This monitoring can help doctors figure out if the damage to the liver is progressing or if the situation is worsening.

The Causes

The hepatitis B virus infects the body and causes HBV.

  • The virus can be found in blood and other physiological fluids. HBV can be spread through sperm, vaginal secretions, and blood. During delivery, it can also be passed from a mother to a newborn kid. Both sharing needles and having intercourse without using contraception increase the chance of infection.
  • HBV can also be contracted by traveling to a region of the world where the infection is more common.
  • Because the virus may not create any symptoms, a person can spread it without even realizing it.

The Diagnosis

People who are at a higher risk of HBV infection or consequences from an undetected HBV infection can get screened. A doctor may examine a person's liver for damage if they have HBV.

The Hepatitis B test

A blood test can assist a clinician to diagnose HBV infection, both acute and chronic.   

  1. If the test shows that HBV is present, the doctor may order additional blood tests to confirm:
  2. If your HBV infection is acute or chronic
  3. The likelihood of liver damage in a person
  4. Whether or not therapy is required
  5. People with chronic HBV will need to be tested on a frequent basis, according to their doctor. Once an illness has progressed to the stage of chronicity, it can change over time.
  6. Hepatitis B vs. Hepatitis C: What's the Difference?
  7. There are numerous forms of hepatitis. Hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) both have acute and chronic forms.
  8. HBV and HCV differ primarily in how they spread from person to person. Although HCV can be transmitted through sexual activity, this is a rare occurrence. HCV normally spreads when virus-infected blood comes into contact with non-infected blood.

During pregnancy, hepatitis B is a risk.

If a woman with HBV becomes pregnant, she risks passing the virus on to her unborn child. Women with HBV should inform the doctor who delivers their baby.

Within 12–24 hours of birth, the newborn should get an HBV vaccine and HBIG. This drastically lowers their chances of contracting HBV.

It is safe to have the HBV immunization when pregnant.

The Risk factors

People who are at a high risk of contracting HBV include:

  • HBV-positive mothers' infants
  • HBV infected people's sexual partners
  • people who have several sexual partners and participate in sexual intercourse without using contraception
  • Those who have sex with other males
  • individuals who inject illegal drugs
  • those who live in the same house as someone who has a persistent HBV infection
  • patients undergoing hemodialysis, a type of renal treatment; those taking immune-suppressing drugs, such as chemotherapy for cancer; and people living with HIV.
  • those who are from an area where HBV is prevalent
  • While pregnancy, all women
  • Workers in the healthcare and public safety industries who are at danger of being exposed to blood or polluted bodily fluids on the job

The Prevention     

Human papillomavirus (HBV) infection can be avoided by doing the following:

  1. when working in healthcare facilities or dealing with medical emergencies, wearing suitable safety equipment
  2. needles are not shared
  3. following sexually responsible behavior
  4. Using gloved hands, wipe any blood spills or dried blood with a 1:10 dilution of one part household bleach to ten parts water.

The Vaccine          

Since 1982, an HBV vaccination has been available.

This vaccine is recommended for the following individuals:

  • babies, children, and adolescents who have never been vaccinated
  • all health-care professionals
  • persons who have been exposed to blood or blood products as a result of their work or treatment
  • persons on dialysis and those who have had solid organ transplants
  • Correctional facility inmates, halfway house occupants, and community inhabitants
  • injecting drug people who live in the same residence or have sexual relations with someone who has a persistent HBV infection.
  • those who have had several sexual partners
  • travelers to countries where HBV is prevalent users

The Schedule

The HBV vaccine is administered in three doses. The first injection can be given at any age, however it is recommended that babies receive it soon after birth. At least one month should pass between the first and second shots.

Adults should wait at least 8 weeks after the second dose and 16 weeks after the first to receive the third dose. The third dose should not be given to infants until they are 24 weeks old.

The Dangers

Infections with HBV can result in a variety of life-threatening consequences, including:

Cirrhosis. This causes liver scarring and impairs liver function. It has the potential to cause liver failure.

Failure of the liver. This condition, often known as end-stage liver disease, can advance quickly or slowly. The liver is unable to repair or replace damaged cells or functions.

Cancer of the liver. HPV infection for a long time raises the risk of liver cancer.

Despite the fact that HBV is a major public health concern around the world, the vaccine provides adequate protection against the virus for the vast majority of people.

What type of hepatitis is the most dangerous?

Hepatitis A through E are the five different kinds of viral hepatitis. All of these are harmful because they have the potential to harm the liver.

Hepatitis A and E, for example, is primarily short-term diseases that the immune system eventually clears. Hepatitis B, C, and D, for example, can produce both acute and chronic illnesses.

Because the immune system is unable to eliminate the virus in chronic hepatitis, the virus can continue to harm the liver. Cirrhosis, liver failure, and even liver cancer can all result as a result of this.

Practice effective precautionary steps to avoid potentially deadly infections or complications caused by any type of hepatitis. Hepatitis vaccinations for hepatitis A and B can be obtained from a reputable source.


Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post