Picture of Hepatitis B
Hepatitis B is a virus that causes liver inflammation. It may be transmitted by blood transfusions, sexual activity, dialysis, childbirth, needle sticks, tattooing, and body piercing. The virus may be transmitted by close contact. People who have hepatitis B virus (HBV) may experience symptoms like jaundice, fatigue, dark urine, nausea, vomiting, and light-colored stools. The infection is diagnosed by a blood test. Antiviral medications are used to treat hepatitis B. Hepatitis B immunoglobulin (HBIG) may also be prescribed. If the infection is chronic, it may be treated with interferon.
Some types of health care professionals may be at increased risk of contracting hepatitis B when accidentally exposed to blood or other bodily fluids of an infected individual. A combination of HBIG and the hepatitis B vaccine may help protect exposed individuals for both the short- and long-term. The best way to avoid hepatitis B is to avoid activities associated with an increased risk of infection.
Text Reference: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: “Viral Hepatitis – Heptatitis B Information”