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Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a viral infection affecting the liver and can result in acute and chronic illness. T

Hepatitis B is a viral infection affecting the liver and can result in acute and chronic illness. The common mode of transmission is from mother to child during childbirth and delivery, and through contact with blood or other bodily fluids from an infected person.  

Hepatitis B symptoms can take 1-4 months to manifest after infection and include the following: 

  • Jaundice (yellowish discoloration of the eye and skin) 
  • Dark or tea-colored stools and urine 
  • Fatigue and muscle pain 
  • Anorexia (loss of appetite) and weight loss 
  • Flu-like symptoms and a fever 
  • Abdominal pain 

However, many who have hepatitis B don't show any symptoms and could transmit the disease without being aware of it. 

Symptoms of acute (short-term) Hepatitis B infection can resolve with supportive treatment such as hydration, rest and proper nutrition. This is true for 90% of adults but children 1-5 years old have a 50% chance of developing chronic (long-term) hepatis B infection. 

Chronic Hepatitis B infection can cause massive necrosis, cirrhosis or liver cancer. Infants and young children are especially at risk because they have a higher chance of developing chronic hepatitis B as stated above. Hepatitis B infection is preventable through immunisation/vaccination. It is thus given to all newborns and advised for people who are more vulnerable to getting the infection, such as the elderly and those with a weakened immune system.  

Treatment of chronic active hepatitis includes antiviral drugs and regular medical checks. In extreme cases, a liver transplant may be necessitated. Prevention is thus the cornerstone of epidemiologic control. 

Vaccination, safe sex, and not sharing needles, syringes, or other drug-injection supplies are all examples of preventive measures. 

If you are experiencing the above symptoms that could indicate Hepatitis B, it's essential that you schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Hepatitis B is a serious liver infection that requires medical diagnosis and treatment. Do not delay seeking help; early detection and management can significantly improve health outcomes. Always prioritise your health and well-being. 



World Health Organization. (2021). Hepatitis B. 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020). Hepatitis B Questions and Answers for the Public. 

Mayo Clinic. (2021). Hepatitis B. 

Please note that all medical articles featured on our website have been reviewed by qualified healthcare doctors. The articles are for general information only and are not medical opinions nor should the contents be used to replace the need for a personal consultation with a qualified medical professional on the reader's medical condition.

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