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• Hepatitis B
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What is Hepatitis B?
Hepatitis B is an infection of the liver and is caused by a virus called the Hepatitis B Virus (HBV). Of the three different kind of Hepatitis virus (A,B and C) Hepatitis B is the one that is most likely spread by sexual activity. The Hepatitis B virus is passed on through semen, vaginal fluids, blood, and urine.
Hepatitis B can lead to liver disorders like liver failure, liver cancer and even death. About 50,000 people get infected with Hepatitis B every year and there are about 1 million in the U.S. with chronic Hepatitis B.
Are there signs or symptoms?
Hepatitis B often has no signs or symptoms. About half of the people who have Hepatitis B never have symptoms. Many people who are infected with Hepatitis B are not aware of it.
When symptoms develop it is usually between six weeks to six months after the infection and it can feel like flu like symptoms. You may extremely tired feel tired, have no appetite, vomit, have a headache, and feel itchy.
In a later stage you can experience more severe abdominal pain, your urine can become dark and your stool can become pale-colored. Also jaundice can occur. This is a condition in which your skin and eyes can turn yellow.
How do you get Hepatitis B?
The Hepatitis B can be spread through blood, semen, vaginal fluid, and urine. This can happen when you have unprotected sexual intercourse or oral sex. It can also happen when you share needles or personal hygiene utensils such as razors or toothbrushes.
People who work in the health care industry are also more at risk because of accidental pricks with contaminate needles or surgical instruments.
A mother can also infect the baby during the birth process. 90% of all the children born to women with Hepatitis B will get infected. Immediate treatment of the baby can be very effective.
Women who are pregnant and might be exposed to Hepatitis B should therefore be tested before giving birth
Hepatitis B is spread by contact with an infected person’s blood or sexual fluids. This can happen during vaginal, anal, and oral sex or from sharing needles. People who have contact with blood, like healthcare professionals, or who share toothbrushes or razor blades with someone who is infected, are also at a greater risk for the virus. As this virus is spread through blood, people wonder if they can get it from a mosquito bite. The answer? No. There are no known cases worldwide of Hepatitis B spread through mosquitoes.
How do I get tested for it?
You come to our facility and our friendly, trained staff will gently draw a blood sample and send it out to the lab. Most results will be back within 24-48 hr. You can come and pick up your results, or we can or you can view your lab results online.
With your email address and random generated password you are also able to login into your account. The account gets setup during your visit once you let us know how you like to receive the results.
No need to pick up the results. You have access to the results at any time and any place.
Is there a cure or treatment?
No, there is not a medicine that can cure Hepatitis B. Mostly, Hepatitis B cures by itself although it can take up to 4 to 8 weeks. More than 90% of adults recover completely.
However, 5% of the adults who get infected with Hepatitis B will develop a chronic infection, which means they are infected in the long term with this virus. 90% of babies who get infected with Hepatitis B during the birth process will become chronically infected if they don’t get treated immediately.
People who have a chronic infection stay contagious for the rest of their lives.
What can I do to prevent getting Hepatitis B?
First of all use a condom every time and with every partner if you are sexually active. Don’t share needles, razor blades, or toothbrushes with an infected person.
People who are at risk for Hepatitis B or children are recommended to get vaccinated for
- Health care workers who get in contact with blood
- Men who are sexually active with other men
- Sexually active people who have different partners.
- People who have an STD.
- IV drug users.