by Yen Express
Jul 29, 2020
Hepatitis B is a disease caused by Hepatitis B virus. There's an estimated of 862,000 people living with hepatitis B. 15%–25% of chronically infected people develop chronic liver disease, including cirrhosis, liver failure, or liver cancer.
The hepatitis B virus can be transmitted by;
- Birth to an infected mother or during early childhood.
- Sex with an infected person
- Sharing equipment that has been contaminated with blood from an infected person, such as needles, syringes, and even medical equipment, such as glucose monitors
- Sharing personal items such as toothbrushes or razors.
Some people do not experience any symptoms when newly infected. However, others have acute illness with symptoms that last several weeks, including:
- Yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice),
- Fatigue, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain.
A small subset of persons with acute hepatitis can develop acute liver failure, which can lead to death. In some people, the hepatitis B virus can also cause a chronic liver infection that can later develop into cirrhosis (a scarring of the liver) or liver cancer.
Prevention & treatment
Hepatitis B can be prevented by vaccines that are safe, available and effective.
WHO recommends the use of antiviral prophylaxis for the prevention of hepatitis B transmission from mother-to-child.
Safer sex practices, including minimizing the number of partners and using barrier protective measures help to reduce the risk if getting infected.