Hepatitis B is a virus passed from person to person by
- Blood to blood contact, i.e. needles or other medical equipment which is contaminated with infected blood, infected blood being spilt onto a wound & most imp Blood transfusion.
- Having sex with an infected person .
- Women who are hepatitis B positive can transmit the virus to their children during pregnancy.
- A human bite from an infected person.
- Household contacts: sharing toothbrushes or razors.
- Tattooing, ear piercing.
- Hemodialysis machine.
What are the symptoms ?Hepatitis B is a silent infection. Sometimes, in acute stage person may have the following symptoms:
- A short mild flu-like illness
- Feeling ill and tired
- Vomiting and Weight loss
- Jaundice (yellow skin and eyes) and
- Pale stools and dark urine.
Why do you need to test for Hepatitis B
- If you are a carrier you can take steps to avoid passing it on to other people.
- If you are pregnant and a carrier of Hepatitis B, your baby can be protected by a vaccination soon after birth.
- If hepatitis B is left untreated, it can cause cirrhosis and liver cancer.
How is Hepatitis B diagnosed?
- Blood Test that includes :
- LFT ( Liver function test)
- Hepatitis B Surface antigen (HBsAg)
- Anti – core IgM (IgM anti - HBc)
- Hepatitis B Surface Antibody (HBsAb or anti – HBs )
- Hepatitis B Envelope Antigen (HBeAg)
- Hepatitis B Envelope Antibody (Anti-HBe or HBeAb):
- HBV DNA ( qualitative + quantitative )
- Ultrasound of the liver.
- Liver Biopsy : it is removal of small piece of tissue from the liver using a special needle. The tissue is examined under a microscope to look for inflammation or liver damage.
- Fibroscan which can be done instead of liver biopsy to assess the degree of damage to liver.