Hepatitis B Virus Facts

Hepatitis B Virus Facts
Hepatitis B virus is the virus responsible for causing hepatitis B in humans, which can lead to both cirrhosis of the liver or hepatocellular carcinoma and is thought to be a potential risk factor for pancreatic cancer as well. Hepatitis B is a member of the Hepadnavirus family but its early evolution or development has not been established. Hepatitis B is transmitted through bodily fluids or blood and is estimated to affect roughly 257 million people around the world. It is a risk for healthcare workers in particular who come into contact with the virus regularly. There is an effective vaccine available to help prevent infection.
Interesting Hepatitis B Virus Facts:
When an individual is diagnosed with hepatitis B they are considered hepatitis B surface antigen positive.
In 2015 alone, more than 887,000 people died as a result of complications from hepatitis B infection worldwide.
The vaccine for preventing hepatitis B infection has existed since 1982 and is considered to be 95% effective.
The highest rates of infection globally of hepatitis B are found in the Western Pacific region and the African region where as much as 6.2% of the population are infected with hepatitis B.
In the Eastern Mediterranean region the infection of hepatitis B is roughly 3.3%. In the South-east Asia region the infection is 2% and in the European region the infection is roughly 1%.
Hepatitis B virus is capable of existing outside of the human body for as long as 7 days but possible even longer.
The incubation period of the hepatitis B virus is approximately 75 days. In some cases it can be as short as 30 days or as long as 180 days.
Hepatitis B is often spread during childbirth in regions where the virus is considered endemic.
In regions where hepatitis B is common it is also often spread via infected blood.
Children under the age of five also commonly spread hepatitis B to other non-infected children.
Hepatitis B can be spread through exposure to mucus membranes of saliva, or other bodily fluids.
An individual exposed to hepatitis B in adulthood has less than 5% chance of developing chronic hepatitis.
During the acute infection stage of hepatitis B symptoms may include jaundice (yellowing of the skin and or whites of the eyes), darker urine, nausea, vomiting, pain in the abdomen, and feeling extremely tired.
Some people that develop acute hepatitis due to exposure to hepatitis B develop acute liver failure. This is potentially fatal.
Chronic infections due to hepatitis B infection are common in children under the age of six.
Adults that suffer from chronic hepatitis B infection will develop liver cancer or cirrhosis of the liver.
It is estimated that approximately 1% of those with hepatitis B infection are also HIV positive.
It is estimated that approximately 7.4% of those with HIV are also positive for hepatitis B infection.
Chronic hepatitis B infections can be treated with drugs but not cured. Acute hepatitis B treatment involves adequate care as there is no specific treatment.
Most people who begin a treatment plan for hepatitis B infection will require the treatment for the rest of their life.

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