Hepatitis B is a potentially serious infection that can cause severe liver disease. Alka Rebentish, MD, and Chukwudum Uche, MD, FIDSA, FACP, at Infectious Disease Associates & Travel Medicine Clinic in Las Vegas, Nevada, are experts in diagnosing and treating hepatitis to prevent long-term complications like cirrhosis and liver cancer. You could also benefit from vaccination against hepatitis B. Call the clinic today to find out more or schedule a consultation using the online tool.
Hepatitis B is a viral liver infection. Some people have only mild symptoms that last a couple of weeks, but hepatitis B can also lead to serious chronic ill health.
Acute hepatitis B develops within six months of exposure to the hepatitis B virus. It’s possible to recover from acute hepatitis B without treatment, after which you’re immune and can’t get the disease again. Sometimes an acute attack leads to chronic hepatitis B.
Chronic hepatitis B is incurable and can cause:
The condition can be fatal in some cases.
The hepatitis B virus lives in body fluids, including blood and semen. You can get infected with hepatitis B if fluids from an infected person enter your body. This can happen during sex if your partner has hepatitis B, or when sharing drug-taking equipment like needles or syringes.
Mothers can pass hepatitis B to their babies when they give birth. You could also pick up hepatitis B if you touch open sores or infected blood, or share personal equipment like toothbrushes or medical devices with someone who has hepatitis B.
It’s possible to have hepatitis B and not realize it because you might not have any symptoms. That means you can catch hepatitis B even if the carrier thinks they’re healthy, and also pass on the infection to other people.
The most effective way to avoid infection with hepatitis B is through immunization. There is a safe vaccine available that you can get at Infectious Disease Associates & Travel Medicine Clinic. The vaccine enables your immune system to create antibodies that fight off the virus if it should ever enter your body.
All babies and children below the age of 19 should receive hepatitis B vaccinations. Certain groups who are more at risk of hepatitis B infection should also receive a vaccination, including people who have partners with the condition and those who are having sex without being in a long-term monogamous relationship.
If you’re not sure whether you need to have a hepatitis B vaccination, Infectious Disease Associates & Travel Medicine Clinic can advise you after looking at your risk factors.
There aren’t any specific medications for acute hepatitis B. Most people recover well, providing they rest, drink plenty of fluids, and receive proper nutrition. Chronic hepatitis B requires long-term expert care, which Infectious Disease Associates & Travel Medicine Clinic can provide.
You need to undergo regular checkups and have your liver monitored for signs of damage. Not all patients who have chronic hepatitis B need to take medication, but there are treatments available that can help those who do.
Call Infectious Disease Associates & Travel Medicine Clinic today to arrange testing or vaccination against hepatitis B, or book an appointment online.