All You Know about Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B caused about 887,000 deaths in the year 2015. An estimated amount of 257 million people all over the world are living with hepatitis B infection.

What is Hepatitis B?

Hepatitis B is a liver infection which is not common in the UK like other parts of the world and is caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV). It attacks the liver and can cause acute and chronic disease.

In adults, you may not notice any obvious symptoms and may pass away without any treatment after a couple of months unlike in kids that it may persist for long.

How is Hepatitis B Transmitted?

Hepatitis B is transferred through blood and other body fluids. Unprotected sex with multiple partners endangers you to this deadly liver virus although it proves to show no signs in adults for the first few months without treatments. Hepatitis B is also noticed in children. It goes on stubbornly in children for a long time and sometimes leads to severe liver damage. Hepatitis B, unlike Hepatitis A, is not contracted through contaminated food or water; it is transmitted through body fluids like semen, blood, vaginal fluids and saliva.

Children get this disease from either childbirth contact with fluid from contaminated persons or share of personal items like a toothbrush. This virus survives 5 to 8 days outside the human body. Therefore it can be contacted within these days if you come in contact with infected objects.

What Are The Symptoms Of Hepatitis B?

The symptoms of this virus tend to appear within 2 to 3 months after infection.

  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhoea
  • Jaundice ( skin yellowing)
  • Abdominal pains
  • Fever

For children, they might experience skin rashes, dark urine and brightly-coloured stool.

When Should I Visit A Doctor?

Hepatitis B usually disappears within the first two months after being infected without treatment, but if it persists for 6 months, it can lead to chronic liver disease (chronic hepatitis B).

Seek medical advice if you

  • Have exposed yourself to HBV.
  • Notice possible symptoms related to hepatitis B
  • Are at high risk of getting the virus.

It is best to visit any of our doctors at STI Clinic London on sight of symptoms before it advances into chronic hepatitis B. Laboratory tests can be taken using blood samples.

How Do I Treat Hepatitis B?

Treatment of Hepatitis B varies based on how long treatment takes place after infection.

  • Emergency treatment can be used for early-stage Hepatitis ( within few days)
  • For acute hepatitis, your body fights off the virus while you get treatment.
  • For those with chronic hepatitis, you might be placed under medical care to prevent liver damage. People with chronic hepatitis must avoid alcohol and other things that tend to damage the liver. In some rare cases, a liver implant might be required when the damage caused by the virus is life-threatening.

How To Prevent Hepatitis B

Vaccines for hepatitis B for newborns are available. It is of great importance that babies should be vaccinated especially those born by hepatitis B infected parents. The children vaccine involves three shots within the first six months after birth. The second dosage is given to the infant at about two months after birth and the third those in her sixth month. It is safer to test a child on their ninth month to be on the safe side. Put a call through to us at STI Clinic London for more information on Hepatitis B