Hepatitis B

1826 Words Sep 19th, 2013 8 Pages
Hepatitis B What is hepatitis B? Hepatitis means the inflammation of the liver. Hepatitis B, “formerly called serum hepatitis (Richard Adler)”, is caused by a serious liver infection with the hepatitis B virus (HBV) and the infection has two phases: acute and chronic (eMedicineHealth). Acute hepatitis B is short-term and occurs after being exposed to the virus and only few develop fulminant hepatitis which is very severe and life threatening. Chronic hepatitis can lead to “liver failure, liver cancer, or cirrhosis” (MayoClinic.com). Chronic hepatitis is long-term and an infection with HBV that lasts longer than 6 months and once it becomes chronic it may never go away (eMedicineHealth). Is hepatitis B infectious? Yes it is. “Hepatitis B …show more content…
of Health). You cannot become infected by: casual contact, such as hugging, dancing, etcetera, coming in contact with sweat or tears, being sneezed or coughed on, breastfeeding, sharing a swimming pool, telephone, or toilet seas, or by donating blood (MayoClinic.com). There are many different preventative measures you can take to protect yourself from getting hepatitis B. The most common is to get the hepatitis B vaccine and the hepatitis B immune globulin to those who have been exposed already. Another preventative measure is practicing safe sex, such as using latex condoms correctly when sexually active, or “avoiding vaginal, oral, or anal sex all together is the best way to prevent STD’s” (Minnesota Dept. of Health). Others are knowing the HBV status of any sexual partner, not sharing needles or other equipment when injecting drugs, don’t share anything that might have blood on it, “talk to your doctor if you’re traveling internationally” (MayoClinic.com), get tested if pregnant and “when infant is born to infected mother, immunize infant at birth” (Minnesota Dept. of Health). As you can see there are many ways to prevent being infected by HBV. To remain safe follow the preventative measures above. “Hepatitis B is 100 times for infectious that the AIDS virus, yet it can be prevented with a safe and effective vaccine” (Hepatitis B Foundation). Hepatitis B is the most common serious

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