About Hepatitis B
What is Hepatitis B?
Hepatitis B is a serious disease caused by a virus that attacks the liver. The virus, which is called hepatitis B virus (HBV), can cause lifelong infection, cirrhosis (scarring) of the liver, liver cancer, liver failure, and death. Hepatitis B vaccine is available for all age groups to prevent HBV infection
Who Should Be Vaccinate for Hepatitis B?
You should get the hepatitis B vaccine if:
- Al children should get their first dose of Hepatitis B vaccine at birth and should have completed the vaccine series by 6 through 18 months of age.
- Children and adolescents through 18 years of age who did not the the vaccine when they were younger should also be vaccinated.
- You have sex with or live in the same house as a person with hepatitis B virus infection.
- You have sex with more than one partner.
- You seek care in a clinic for sexually transmitted diseases, HIV testing or treatment, or drug treatment.
- You are a man who has sex with other men.
- You inject drugs.
- You have a job that involves contact with human blood*.
- You are on the staff of, or a client in, an institution for the developmentally disabled*.
- You are a hemodialysis patient or have end-stage renal disease.
- You have HIV infection.
- You are a dialysis patient.
- You have chronic liver disease.
- You have diabetes and are under age 60.
- You live or travel for more than 6 months a year in countries where hepatitis B is common.
- You seek care in a clinic for sexually transmitted diseases, HIV testing, or drug treatment.
Possible Symptoms of Hepatitis B
Possible symptoms include:
- Short, mild, flu-like illness
- Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Jaundice (yellow skin and whites of eyes, darker yellow urine and pale feces)
- Itchy skin
- Abdominal pain
If experiencing any of these symptoms, see your doctor immediately for emergency care.