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Liver Center - Viral Hepatitis B (HBV)

Definition Incidence Risk Factors/Cause
An inflammatory liver disease caused by the hepatitis B virus that results in liver cell damage. Most often spread from person to person through direct contact with blood, seminal fluid or vaginal secretions. Approximately 80,000 cases reported annually in the U.S. Preventable by hepatitis B immune globulin (HBIG) within 14 days of exposure or HBV vaccination Tattooing or body piercing Intravenous drug use Participation in high-risk sexual practices Intimate contact with someone with HBV infection Travel to countries with high rates of hepatitis B
Symptoms Diagnosis Treatment/Prevention
Usually initially asymptomatic Loss of appetite Nausea Fatigue Muscle or joint aches Mild fever Jaundice Medical history Physical exam Blood tests Liver biopsy Medical therapy with Interferon, Lamivudine or Adefovir Liver transplantation in severe, chronic cases