What You Should Know About the Spread of Hepatitis B

In this blog, we’re here to explore the causes of Hepatitis B. You will get to know the various sources through which an individual can develop this disease. 

Hepatitis B is a viral infection that attacks the liver. As estimated by World Health Organization (WHO), in 2019, around 296 million people were living with chronic Hepatitis B. This resulted in an estimated 820,000 deaths from cirrhosis and liver cancer. This disease can be prevented through proper vaccination. 

It is essential to understand the causes of Hepatitis B. With the awareness of its causes, one can define practical measures to prevent it from occurring and reduce its incidence. That said, the Hepatitis B titer test can help determine whether or not a person is infected with the virus. 

The most common spread of Hepatitis B is from mother to child at birth. This is known as vertical transmission. The other common way is through infected blood.  This is called horizontal transmission. This includes needlestick injury, tattooing, and piercing. It can also include exposure to infected blood and body fluids, like saliva and menstrual, vaginal, and seminal fluids. When it comes to contaminated needles and syringes or sharp devices in healthcare settings, it is highly likely that the healthcare individual can get infected at the same time, if not careful.  

The hepatitis B virus can survive outside the body of a person for at least a week. The virus can still cause infection within this duration if it enters the body that is not protected by the vaccine.  The incubation period ranges from a month to six months. The virus may be detected within one or two months after infection and can develop into chronic hepatitis B. 

People who are newly infected do not experience any symptoms; however, those with acute illness are likely to develop symptoms that last over several weeks. These symptoms include yellowing of the skin and eyes, extreme fatigue, dark urine, vomiting, nausea, and abdominal pain. 

The Hepatitis B Titer Test helps to identify whether you or a loved one are suffering from an acute or chronic infection. This titer test helps in the differential diagnosis of hepatitis.