Hepatitis B (HBV) is a virus which causes liver disease. It is transmitted through blood and sexual contact. The risk of getting HBV infection increases with age, but it can occur at any time during life. Approximately 30% of all new infections are acquired during pregnancy. HBV infection may cause cirrhosis of the liver, hepatocellular carcinoma (liver cancer), or both.
Other names are:
hepatitis Gamma-Delta virus (GBV-C) hepatitis
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There are no known factors that will prevent you from getting infected with hepatitis B virus.
A vaccine is available that can protect you from getting infected with this virus.
Most of the people infected with this virus will get rid of it on their own within six months. Others will have no symptoms or will have minor symptoms that last less than six months.
You can get tested for hepatitis B through your doctor or local health department. The disease is diagnosed through blood tests and antibody tests.
Infected people who are in good health do not need any treatment, but they should be watched for any signs of liver problems and the disease will be monitored.
People who are infected with the virus and experience liver inflammation will need a medicine called interferon to slow down the damage of the liver.
People with liver cancer will need another medicine called ribavirin (also known as Rebetol).
There is no vaccine for hepatitis D, but it cannot survive alone. It needs the hepatitis B virus to survive. So, if you are vaccinated against the hepatitis B virus, you will not get infected with the hepatitis D virus as well.
Sources & references used in this article:
- Natural history and prognosis of hepatitis B (G Fattovich – Seminars in liver disease, 2003 – thieme-connect.com)
- Prognosis following spontaneous HBsAg seroclearance in chronic hepatitis B patients with or without concurrent infection (YC Chen, IS Sheen, CM Chu, YF Liaw – Gastroenterology, 2002 – Elsevier)
- Prognosis of hepatitis B virus surface antigen carriers in relation to routine liver function tests: a prospective study (K Sakuma, T Takahara, K Okuda, F Tsuda, M Mayumi – Gastroenterology, 1982 – Elsevier)
- Age‐specific prognosis following spontaneous hepatitis B e antigen seroconversion in chronic hepatitis B (YC Chen, CM Chu, YF Liaw – Hepatology, 2010 – Wiley Online Library)
- Sero‐clearance of hepatitis B surface antigen in chronic carriers does not necessarily imply a good prognosis (T Huo, J Wu, P Lee, G Chau, W Lui, S Tsay, L Ting… – …, 1998 – Wiley Online Library)
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- β-catenin mutations are associated with a subset of low-stage hepatocellular carcinoma negative for hepatitis B virus and with favorable prognosis (HC Hsu, YM Jeng, TL Mao, JS Chu, PL Lai… – The American journal of …, 2000 – Elsevier)
- Tim‐3/galectin‐9 signaling pathway mediates T‐cell dysfunction and predicts poor prognosis in patients with hepatitis B virus‐associated hepatocellular carcinoma (H Li, K Wu, K Tao, L Chen, Q Zheng, X Lu, J Liu… – …, 2012 – Wiley Online Library)