What is Hepatitis B?

Hepatitis B is a viral infection that affects the liver. It is caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV) and can lead to both acute and chronic liver disease. Worldwide, it is estimated that about 257 million people have chronic HBV infection.

What Are the Symptoms Associated with Hepatitis B?

The symptoms of hepatitis B vary from person to person. Some individuals may not experience any symptoms at all, while others may develop flu-like symptoms such as fatigue, nausea, abdominal pain, and loss of appetite. Other possible symptoms include dark urine, jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes), and joint pain.

How is Hepatitis B Diagnosed?

Hepatitis B can be diagnosed through blood tests that detect the presence of HBV antigens and antibodies. These tests can determine if a person has acute or chronic HBV infection. In some cases, additional tests such as liver function tests and imaging studies may be done to assess the extent of liver damage.

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What Are the Treatment Options for Hepatitis B?

The treatment for hepatitis B depends on various factors, including the stage of the infection and the severity of liver damage. In cases of acute HBV infection, supportive care is often provided to relieve symptoms and promote healing. For chronic HBV infection, antiviral medications may be prescribed to reduce viral replication and inflammation in the liver. In some cases, liver transplantation may be considered for individuals with advanced liver disease.

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