HEPATITIS B INFECTIONS

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.

Is there a vaccine to prevent infection?

YES (Contact your Hepatologist)