Hepatitis B

What is Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a disease, the root cause of which has emerged from Hepatitis B Virus (HBV). This disease primarily affects the liver and its functioning. The duration of this disease can be short term or long term. Hepatitis B lasting for short term is known as Acute Hepatitis B. The infection that stays for long-term, say more than six months is called as Chronic Hepatitis B. Infants and children suffering from this infection are at higher risk of chronic hepatitis B. Chronic hepatitis B increases the possibility of liver damage, liver cancer or unending scratches on the liver.

Hepatitis B Causes

Hepatitis B is a transmitted disease originating from Hepatitis B Virus (HBV). It is transmitted from one person to another through;

Intimate Relation : Hepatitis B is transmitted when the person has unprotected sex with the infected person.

Sharing of Needles : One is at the increased risk of HBV when needles and syringes are reused. This causes contamination.

Accidental Needle Sticks : Nurses and care workers are prone to HBV when they accidentally come in touch with the needle sticks.

Mother to Baby : A pregnant woman suffering from HBV might pass the infection to her baby at the time of childbirth. Nevertheless, the infant is vaccinated to avoid transmission of infection.

Hepatitis A Hepatitis C Hepatitis D Hepatitis E Hepatitis F Hepatitis G

Classification and External Resources

  • Specialty : Infectious disease, gastroenterology
  • ICD-10 : B16, B18.0-B18.1
  • ICD-9-CM : 070.2-070.3
  • OMIM : 610424
  • DiseasesDB : 5765
  • MedlinePlus : 000279
  • eMedicine : med/992 ped/978
  • Patient UK : Hepatitis B
  • MeSH : D006509

Hepatitis B
Source : Wikipedia

Hepatitis B Treatment

Acute Hepatitis B needs no treatment to be cured. Sufficient rest and proper nutrition and fluids will combat against the infection in the body. However, treatment for chronic hepatitis B includes;

Antiviral Medications - Various antiviral drugs like Lamivudine, Hepsera, Tyzeka, Baraclude help subside the infection and gradually improve liver functioning.

Interferon alfa-2b - This drug is an artificial substance produced by the body used to treat teenagers suffering from HBV infection who do not prefer undergoing a longitudinal treatment or women who want to conceive in few years.

Liver Transplant - Liver transplant takes place when the liver is severely damaged. In this surgery, the surgeon replaces the spoiled liver with a fit liver. Majority of livers are donated after the donor expires and less commonly from living donor who contribute a part of their lives.

Hepatitis B Symptoms

Symptoms of Hepatitis B vary from mild to severe that can be noticed after four months of infection affecting the body. The symptoms are;

  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Dark colored urine
  • Fever
  • Joint ache reduced intake of food
  • Unsettled stomach and vomiting
  • Weakness and exhaustion
  • Skin turning yellow
  • Whites of the eyes turn yellow (jaundice)

Hepatitis B Diagnosis

It is quite complex to discriminate hepatitis from hepatitis B on clinical grounds. Hence, a confirmation through lab is mandate. Common ways to diagnose hepatitis B is through blood tests to confirm acute and chronic hepatitis.

Hepatitis B Test Procedure

Imaging tests to detect hepatitis B are;

  • Abdominal ultrasound
  • CT scan
  • MRI
  • Liver biopsy

Precautions and Preventions

To prevent hepatitis B, one should always be cautious and implement the following;

  • Have protected sex
  • No sharing of needles
  • No sharing of toothbrushes or razors
  • Wear gloves before touching blood
  • Confirm safety of needles before getting a tattoo
  • The best way to prevent hepatitis B is through vaccine through which one can be 95% sure of not being effected with the same when the vaccine series is followed. Hepatitis B vaccine keeps you away from the worry of the infection for almost 20 years. In few cases, the doctor makes post-vaccination test necessary to confirm the effectiveness of the vaccine.

Treatment Cost

The average annual cost of treating chronic hepatitis B virus sums upto $761. However, a liver transplant would cost $ 86,552 excluding post transplant care.

Hepatitis B: Symptoms and Treatment