Hepatitis B Incubation Period
The period between transmission of the hepatitis B virus and the beginning of symptoms of hepatitis B -- which is known as the "hepatitis B incubation period" -- lasts between 30 and 180 days. The length of this incubation period will depend on how many virus particles a person has been exposed to. Infection with very few particles causes a longer incubation period. A person is contagious during the hepatitis B incubation period, and may remain contagious for up to 15 weeks after hepatitis B symptoms begin.
An Overview of the Hepatitis B Incubation PeriodWhen a person becomes infected with the hepatitis B virus (HBV), the virus begins to multiply within the liver cells. As more and more of the hepatitis B virus is made in the liver cells, they can become damaged and may even die.
After 4 to 12 weeks (on average), hepatitis B symptoms can begin. This period between hepatitis B transmission and the start of hepatitis B symptoms is called the "hepatitis B incubation period." The hepatitis B incubation period can be as short as 30 days or as long as 180 days. This incubation period is dependent of the number of virus particles a person is exposed to. Infection with very few particles results in a longer incubation period.