}); HEPATITIS B; INTRODUCTION, CAUSES, TREATMENT AND PREVENTIONS. - WELCOME

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HEPATITIS B; INTRODUCTION, CAUSES, TREATMENT AND PREVENTIONS.



INTRODUCTION.

Hepatitis B is an infection/inflammation of liver. It can cause scarring of the organ, liver failure, and cancer. It can be fatal if it isnt treated.
Its spread when people come in contact with the blood, open sores, unprotected sexual intercourse or body fluids of someone who has the hep B virus.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS.

After you first become infected with the hepatitis B virus:
● You may have no symptoms
● You may feel sick for a period of days or weeks
● You may become very ill very quickly (called fulminant hepatitis)
Symptoms of hepatitis B may not appear for up to 6 months after the time of infection. Early symptoms include:
● Appetite loss
● Fatigue
● Low fever
● Muscle and joint aches
● Nausea and vomiting
● Yellow skin and dark urine
Symptoms will go away in a few weeks to months if your body is able to fight off the infection. Some people never get rid of the hepatitis B virus. This is called Chronic hepatitis B.
People with chronic hepatitis may not have symptoms and not know they are infected. Over time, they may develop symptoms of liver damage and cirrhosis of the liver. 

TESTS AND DIAGNOSIS.

A series of blood tests called the hepatitis viral panel is done to help diagnose the condition
The following tests are done to look for liver damage if you have chronic hepatitis B:
● Albumin level
● Liver function tests
● Prothrombin time.



TREATMENT.

Treatment for acute hepatitis B infection
If your doctor determines your hepatitis B infection is acute — meaning it is short-lived and will go away on its own — you may not need treatment. Instead, your doctor might recommend rest and adequate nutrition and fluids while your body fights the infection
Treatment for chronic hepatitis B infection
If you've been diagnosed with chronic hepatitis B infection, you may have treatment to reduce the risk of liver disease and prevent you from passing the infection to others. Treatments include:
Antiviral medications
Several antiviral medications — including lamivudine (Epivir), adefovir (Hepsera), telbivudine (Tyzeka) and entecavir (Baraclude) — can help fight the virus and slow its ability to damage your liver
Interferon alfa-2b (Intron A)
This synthetic version of a substance produced by the body to fight infection is used mainly for young people with hepatitis B who don't want to undergo long-term treatment or who might want to get pregnant within a few years. It's given by injection. Side effects may include depression, difficulty breathing and chest tightness.
Liver transplant
If your liver has been severely damaged, a liver transplant may be an option. During a liver transplant, the surgeon removes your damaged liver and replaces it with a healthy liver.




COMPLICATIONS.

Having a chronic HBV infection can lead to serious complications, such as
Scarring of the liver (cirrhosis)
The inflammation associated with a hepatitis B infection can lead to extensive liver scarring (cirrhosis), which may impair the liver's ability to function.
Liver cancer
People with chronic hepatitis B infection have an increased risk of liver cancer.
Liver failure
Acute liver failure is a condition in which the vital functions of the liver shut down. When that occurs, a liver transplant is necessary to sustain life.
Other conditions
People with chronic hepatitis B may have kidney disease, inflammation of blood vessels or anemia.

PREVENTION.

The hepatitis B vaccine is typically given as three or four injections over six months. You can't get hepatitis B from the vaccine.
Other ways to reduce your risk of HBV include:
● Know the HBV status of any sexual partner
● Use a new latex or polyurethane condom every time you have sex
● Stop using illicit drugs
● Be cautious about body piercing and tattooing
● Ask about the hepatitis B vaccine before you travel.


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