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Hepatitis B

Signs, symptoms, treatment

Hepatitis B is an infection of the liver. It can cause liver failure, cancer, and scarring of the organ. If left untreated, the disease can be fatal.

What are the symptoms?

Patients infected with hepatitis B may remain asymptomatic for the first 1 to 6 months after being infected. Following the incubation period, hepatitis B develops into its acute phase. The symptoms of the acute phase include the following:

  • Low-grade fever
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Lack of appetite
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Joint pain
  • Pale or grey-colored feces
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes)
  • Itchy skin (these last three symptoms indicate a possible liver infection)

Causes

The Hepatitis B virus can be transmitted from an infected person through blood and bodily fluids such as saliva, semen and vaginal secretions. You can contract hepatitis B virus during unprotected oral, vaginal or anal sex, or by sharing needles to inject drugs.

What to do next

Our team can help you with any questions or concerns you may have about Hepatitis B, whether you already have the condition, are concerned about possible exposure, or would like to get vaccinated. Give us a call or use our online booking system to make your appointment today.

FAQ

How long can Hepatitis B survive outside of the body?

The Hepatitis B virus is particularly resilient, and can live outside of the body for up to a week.

How can I disinfect an area that may have been contaminated with the Hepatitis B virus?

Blood spills or body fluids should be cleaned using a dilution of one part household bleach to 10 parts of water. Take care to wear gloves.

Who is most at risk of Hepatitis B infection?

Those most at risk of HBV infection are babies born of infected mothers, sexual partners of infected people, men who have sex with men, sexually active people with multiple partners, intravenous drug users, those who live with infected people, health care workers who are exposed to blood or blood-contaminated body fluids, and travelers to countries with a high instance of HBV infection.

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Hepatitis B Blood Tests

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Please note that Walk In Clinic is a private medical centre and not an NHS service.