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What is Hepatitis B?
It is an inflammation of the liver cause by the Hepatitis B virus (HBV).
What are the Symptoms?
After the virus enters your body, it can take anywhere from 45 - 180 days to develop symptoms. Some people will not develop symptoms at all. Most people who become infected with Hepatitis B remain well and symptom free. About 5-10% of adults develop chronic disease that can lead to cirrhosis (scarring) and cancer of the liver later in life. Symptoms may include:
How is it Spread?
It is spread through infected blood or bodily fluids, such as semen, vaginal secretions or saliva. These infected fluids must enter a person’s blood system through an open cut, intravenously or through mucus membranes, such as the mouth or vagina.
Babies born to mothers who are Hepatitis B carriers have a 90% chance of developing the disease unless they are vaccinated immediately after birth.
What is a Hepatitis B Carrier?
The majority of people who become infected with Hepatitis B recover completely and develop lifelong immunity. However, around 6-10% of adults and 90% of infants who get infected with the hepatitis B virus cannot get rid of the virus; they are considered carriers. Most carriers are healthy and symptom free but can transmit the hepatitis B virus to other people.
Who is at Risk of Getting Hepatitis B?
How is Hepatitis B Diagnosed?
Diagnosis is made through a blood test.
For more information please contact the health unit at 519-376-9420 or 1-800-263-3456.
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