Hepatitis B is a liver disease caused by infection with a virus. It is called the hepatitis B virus. Most viruses can get transmitted from one person to another. The term hepatitis means inflammation of the liver. Inflammation means painful, red swelling of the part of the body that is injured or infected. When an organ becomes inflamed it may not work properly.
The liver is an organ in the body that is situated in the abdomen. A person cannot live without a liver. It has many important functions such as:
All of us are at risk of getting hepatitis B infection, but some people who are at higher risk, include:
Hepatitis B infection is not transmitted by:
Hepatitis B infection may not cause symptoms in many people. Some of the symptoms which may develop in a person with hepatitis B include:
Infection with hepatitis B virus can cause acute or chronic infection of the liver. If you have symptoms suggestive of liver infection your doctor will recommend tests to check for Hepatitis B. The blood tests can show whether you have chronic hepatitis B or the normal type.
Other tests may be conducted if chronic hepatitis B is suspected.
Treatment of acute infection includes supportive care. Supportive care includes giving medicines to reduce fever or control vomiting, fluids - oral or intravenous as required. Specific treatment for Hepatitis B is given in cases of chronic infection. Treatment for chronic hepatitis B aims to slow or stop the virus from damaging the liver. Your doctor will recommend drugs and duration of treatment based on tests and symptoms.
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