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Hepatitis B


A virus called Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) that causes a disease called hepatitis B. Hence, it's called hepatitis B. This could go on for a while. Hepatitis B...


Common.jpg About 2% in the Western World, going up to over 8% in areas where it is endemic.


Firstly, you some how acquire hepatitis. This can be done in several ways:

  • blood products
  • sharing needles in IVDU
  • sex
  • direct contact (though this is pretty rare)

One of three things happens

  1. You get it, get over the acute infection and get over it
  2. You get it, keep it but no serious liver disease results so you become a carrier
  3. You get it, and complications develop, which is chronic hepatitis

Developing serious disease occurs in 5-10% of cases and can lead to cirrhosis of the liver and is a significant cause of hepatocellular carcinoma. It has a incubation period of 1-6 months.

Risk Factors

All the stuff under pathophysiology plus:

  • being from an endemic area (i.e. Far East, Africa and Mediterranean)
  • being sexually promiscuous
  • haemophilia & their carers (contact with blood products)
  • healthcare professionals
  • haemodialysis (and chronic renal failure)
  • foster carers
  • family members of a carrier or sufferer
  • babies of HBsAG+ve mothers
  • staff/residents of day care/long-term institutions (e.g. prison)

Clinical Features