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    Hepatitis B Virus

    Hepatitis B is a highly infectious virus that attacks the liver and can cause liver disease, cancer and death.  

    “Hepatitis” means inflammation of the liver.  The liver is a vital organ that processes nutrients, filters the blood and fights infections.  When the liver is inflamed or damaged, its function can be affected.

    What are symptoms of acute Hepatitis B?
    Not everyone has symptoms with acute Hepatitis B.  Most adults have symptoms that appear within three months of exposure.  Symptoms can last from a few weeks to several months and includes:

    • Fever
    • Nausea
    • Abdominal pain
    • Gray-colored stools
    • Dark urine
    • Jaundice


    How does Hepatitis B spread?
    Hepatitis B is spread through the contact of blood or body fluids of you and an infected person.  It can be spread by:

    • A Hepatitis B-infected mother to her child during birth
    • Having unprotected sex
    • Having contact with blood or open sores of an HBV-infected person
    • Getting bit by a Hepatitis B-infected person
    • Sharing items such as razors, toothbrushes, or washcloths
    • Using the same immunization needle with others
    • Using unsterilized needles for body piercing or tattooing


    Hepatitis B is NOT spread by:

    • Eating food prepared by an infected person
    • Kissing or hugging
    • Sneezing or coughing
    • Sharing silverware, plates, or cups
    • Breastfeeding


    How do I know if I have Hepatitis B?
    The only way to know is through blood tests.  Pregnant mothers should have blood tests done during pregnancy and at delivery by your health-care provider.


    Who should be tested for Hepatitis B?
    Hepatitis B testing is recommended for:

    • People born in many Asian countries, especially Southeast Asia
    • People whose parents were born in Asian countries, especially Southeast Asia.
    • People who live with someone who has Hepatitis B


    Why is Hepatitis B so serious in pregnant women?
    Hepatitis B-infected mother can transmit the disease to their babies at the time of birth.  Without proper vaccinations, many of them develop life-long Hepatitis B infections.  

    This page was last modified on December 02, 2016


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    100 E. Weatherford, Fort Worth, Texas 76196