Hepatitis B

What is hepatitis B infection ?

It is the type of inflammation of liver caused by hepatitis B virus. It is the most common cause of chronic hepatitis.

Incidence of Hepatitis-B in Bangladesh.

@ About 4%-7%  of population have hepatitis B infection.

@ About 3.5% of pregnant mothers in Bangladesh are carrying the hepatitis B virus. Those who have HbeAg.

about 90% of them will transmit the virus to their offspring.

Symptoms of Hepatitis B.

There may be no symptoms in many patients.

Non-specific symptoms like tiredness, aches, nausea and loss of appetite.

Manifestations of chronic hepatitis, liver cirrhosis & liver cancer in advanced stage.

How hepatitis B spreads.

@ From infected mothers to the fetus and child. (vertical transmission)

@ Transfusion of unscreened blood & blood product,

@ Parental drug abuse.

@ Medical & dental treatment due to use of unsterile equipments and accidental injuries.

@ Saliva and other body fluids.

@ Unprotected homosexuals & heterosexuals.

How to prevent it:

Personal measures :

@ Use of disposable syringe & needles, transfuse screened blood, not to share utensils and use  safe sex.

@ Vaccination (Hepatitis B vaccine) in risk groups and family members of Hepatitis B

@ Universal childhood vaccination.

Babies born to HBsAg positive mothers- first dose vaccination within 24 hours of birth along with Hepatiitis B immunoglobulin.(HBIG)

Vaccination of Surgical, medical & dental stuff.

@ Hospital & laboratory staff who come in contact with blood and blood products frequently.

Passive immunization :

Hepatitis B immunoglobulin (HBIG)- after exposure at high risk personnals or sources.

Some advise  :

@ Don’t receive unscreened blood.

@ Don’t donate blood, organ if you are Hepatitis-B positive.

@ Don’t use any one’s toothbrush, razor, scissors or other personal items.

@ Don’t make tattoos with unclean materials.

@ Take precautions against needle stick (prick) injury and blood spillage in medical, surgical, dental and nursing practice.

@ Use disposable blades in private haircutting saloon instead of traditional razor.

@ Practice safe sex.

@ The incidence is many times than that of AIDS.

If you remain infected more than 6 months regular monitoring is needed for your liver functions & viral status.

Treatment:  Consult liver specialist (hepatologist) for evaluation and treatment

©2013 Liver Foundation of Bangladesh