Essay on Hepatitis B 2

656 Words 3 Pages
Hepatitis B can be prevented with a highly effective vaccine, but this year ten to thirty million people will become infected with the hepatitis B virus. I feel that because this disease is preventable, only knowledge can help reduce the number of people infected.
Hepatitis B is a serious liver disease caused by the hepatitis B virus. This virus is a blood-borne pathogen. It is one hundred times more infectious than
HIV. “Hepatitis B is one of the most frequently reported vaccine preventable diseases in the United States,'; according to the Centers for Disease Control.

This disease is transmitted through oral, vaginal, and anal sex. You can also acquire the disease through sharing needles,
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Fifty percent of those infected with the virus (a.k.a. HBV) do not develop symptoms. HBV is often called the “Silent Infection';. Another forty nine percent experience fevers, fatigue, nausea, and vomiting. Many people think that it is just the flu and ignore their symptoms. Some other symptoms include abdominal pain or swelling, jaundice, dark colored urine or light colored bowel movements. The other one percent develops acute fulminant hepatitis. Of those infected with it, sixty to ninety percent of all cases result in fatalities. It is characterized by fatigue- most often resulting in collapsing, and jaundice- yellowing of the skin due liver malfunctions.

There is no medical treatment for hepatitis. Although, with bed rest ninety percent of those infected will develop antibodies and fight off the disease. If the body fails to fight it off, some (five to ten percent) will develop chronic hepatitis. These people have an increased risk of liver problems, like cirrhosis (hardening of the liver) and liver cancer. Some chronic cases will need liver transplants.

There is no cure for hepatitis B, but there are some drugs to help. Interferon helps to quicken the rates of remission. There are also two drugs that are in the last phase of FDA approval- lamivudine and famciclovir. These are thought to be available toward the end of the year.

If you have

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