Hepatitis B, sometimes known as HBV, is a liver infection best prevented by a vaccine. Hepatitis B is transmitted when blood, semen, or another body fluid from an infected person to a non-infected person. This can happen through sexual contact, intravenous drug use, or from mother to baby at birth. For some people, hepatitis B is an acute, or short-term, illness but for others, it can become a long-term, chronic infection.
Hepatitus B can result in a short-term acute infection or a long-term chronic infection. It is spread through contact with the blood and body fluids of an infected person. Infections can occur if a healthy individual has sex with an infected person without using a condom, shares needles (used for injecting drugs) with an infected person, gets a tattoo or piercing with tools that weren’t sterilized, or shares personal items like razors or toothbrushes with an infected person
Hepatitus B infection may be difficult to identify at first because the infected individual may experience no symptoms at all. Most common symptoms include:
- Mild fever
- Loss of appetite
- Belly pain
- Tan-colored stool
- Dark urine