What Is Hepatitis B?

Hepatitis B, one of several types of hepatitis (liver inflammation), is caused by the hepatitis B virus, which is spread through infected bodily fluids. A few symptoms of the disease include:
 
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Yellowing of the skin or eyes (also known as jaundice)
  • Low-grade fever.
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Most people who have it do not experience any symptoms. Those who are most at risk include intravenous (IV) drug users, children of immigrants from disease-endemic areas, infants born to infected mothers, and healthcare workers.
 
Many acute cases of hepatitis B get better on their own, but chronic cases often require treatment with medications, such as telbivudine, entecavir, and lamivudine. The best way to prevent infection is through the hepatitis B vaccine.
 
(For information on how a diagnosis is made, as well as more details on what you can do to reduce your risk of infection, click Hepatitis B.)
 

What Is Hepatitis B?

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