Signs and Symptoms
About 30% of persons have no signs or symptoms and signs and symptoms are less common in children than adults. Signs and symptoms include:
- abdominal pain
- loss of appetite
- nausea and vomiting
- joint pain
Who's at Risk?
- Persons with multiple sex partners or a diagnosis of a sexually transmitted disease.
- Men who have sex with men.
- Sexual contacts of infected persons
- Injection drug users
- Household contacts of chronically infected persons.
- Infants born to infected mothers.
- Infants/children of immigrants from areas with high rates of HBV infection.
- Health care and public safety workers
- Hemodialysis patients
How is Hepatitis B Spread from Person to Person?
Hepatitis B spreads from person to person by:
- blood or body fluids from an infected person entering the body of a person who is not immune to hepatitis b;
- having sex with an infected person without using a condom
- sharing needles or "works" when "shooting" drugs
- through needlesticks or sharps exposures on the job
- or from an infected mother to her baby during birth.
How Can the Spread of Hepatitis B be Prevented?
- getting the hepatitis b vaccine
- using latex condoms correctly and every time you have sex
- do not shoot drugs; if you shoot drugs, stop and get into a treatment program; if you can't stop, never share needles, syringes, water, or "works", and get vaccinated against hepatitis A and B
- do not share personal care items that might have blood on them (razors, toothbrushes)
- if you are a health care or public safety worker, get vaccinated against hepatitis B, and always follow routine barrier precautions and safely handle needles and other sharps.
How is Hepatitis B Treated
Source: Information provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2001.
- Hepatitis B infected persons should be evaluated by their doctor for liver disease and offered medication regimens specifically developed for the treatment of Hepatitis B.