Features/ Symptoms Hepatitis B can be spread through blood transfusion, sexually transmitted, exchanging of body fluids and sharing of needles. The virus can survive in dry blood for up to 6 weeks. The virus attacks the liver and the illness is recurrent. A person infected with Hepatitis B virus may experience:
- Loss of appetite;
- General tired (malaise);
- Nausea and vomiting;
- Itching all over the body;
- Abdominal pain, pain over the liver area (on the right side of abdomen under the rib cage); and
- Yellowish skin tone and eyes, dark urine (like tea) and pale grey stools.
Progression Symptoms develop within 30-180 days of exposure to the virus. The symptoms are often compared to flu. Causes The Hepatitis B virus is known as a blood-borne virus that is transmitted via exchanging of body fluids. Semen and saliva also carry the virus. The virus can be transmitted whenever any of these body fluids come in contact with broken skin in the mouth, genital organs or rectum. The disease attacks the liver of the host and can cause permanent liver damage, liver cancer and even death. Treatment/ Management
Hepatitis B is treated symptomatically. Acute Hepatitis B usually goes away by itself and does not require medical treatment. If very severe, symptoms such as vomiting or diarrhea may require treatment to restore fluids and electrolytes. There are no medications that can prevent acute hepatitis B from becoming chronic. A vaccination is available as part of prevention.