What is it?
- A virus that causes inflammation of the liver.
- Can lead to cirrhosis and liver cancer in chronic illness
How is it transmitted?
- Blood to blood contact
- Sexual Contact
- Vertical transmission – mother to baby
Activities which place people at risk
- Sexual contact with a person living with HBV
- Sharing injecting equipment
- Tattooing and skin piercing with contaminated equipment
- Sharing toothbrushes, combs & razors
Short term effects
- Acute may last up to 6 months
- Flu like symptoms, dark urine, light coloured faeces, jaundice, fever & fatigue
- Symptoms may be severe
Long term effects
- 5% of people develop a long-term illness and remain infectious to others
- Fatigue, nausea, muscle pain, abdominal discomfort, jaundice.
- No sharing of all injecting and auxiliary equipment
- Ensure sterile equipment for tattooing and skin piercing
- Follow Universal Precautions when managing body fluids
The hepatitis B blood panel requires only one blood sample but includes three tests:
- Checks is a person is currently infected with the hepatitis B virus, which may be an “acute” or a “chronic” infection.
- Whether you have developed an immunity to hepatitis B which demonstrates exposure.
- And if you have developed chronic hepatitis B
- People who are chronically infected need close monitoring with regular (6 monthly) liver function tests.
- If a person has liver damage they should consider having antiviral treatment for hepatitis B