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.

Reference: http://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/ & http://www.avert.org/hepatitis-b-c.htm

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