Nickname: Hep B or HBV
Signs & Symptoms: HBV causes a viral infection of the liver that ranges from a flu-like illness to chronic hepatitis with jaundice where the skin turns yellow due to a back-up of bile from the liver. Infection with HBV can lead to serious diseases like cirrhosis of the liver or liver cancer. Approximately 350 million people
worldwide carry HBV in their blood without having illness.
Spread: HBV is transmitted by personal contact with the blood and body fluids of people infected with the virus. (Also can be sexually transmitted)
Who is at risk: Healthcare workers who have not received the vaccine and drug users who share needles; someone who has sex with an infected person
Prevention: Hepatitis B vaccine is given in 3 doses over a six-month period. Children should receive this vaccine with childhood immunizations.