Disease & Vaccine Information

What is Hepatitis B?

Updated August 14, 2022


hepatitis b virus

Hepatitis B (HBV) is a viral infection that infects the liver and requires direct contact with infected blood or other body fluids for transmission.

Symptoms of hepatitis B generally appear in 90 days and last a few weeks. Symptoms include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, discolored (clay) bowel movements, joint pain and jaundice (yellowish skin or eyes). 

About half of infected adults and children over the age of five will have symptoms of the disease, while many children who under the age of five will not. 

Most acute hepatitis B infections do not persist and become chronic, but if the infection lasts six months or longer and persists without being cleared, it could eventually lead to chronic liver disease, liver cancer and death.  

NVIC encourages you to become fully informed about Hepatitis B and the Hepatitis B vaccine by reading all sections in the Table of Contents below, which contain many links and resources such as the manufacturer product information inserts, and to speak with one or more trusted health care professionals before making a vaccination decision for yourself or your child. This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice.

 


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