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Hepatitis B is an infectious illness of the liver caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV) that affects apes, including humans. The virus is transmitted by exposure to infectious blood or body fluids such as semen and vaginal fluids, while viral DNA has been detected in the saliva, tears, and urine of chronic carriers. There risk factors for developing HBV infection include working in a healthcare setting, transfusions, dialysis, sharing razors or toothbrushes with an infected person, travel in countries where it is common, and living in an institution.
Chronic HBV Infections
The risk of developing a chronic hepatitis B infection is directly related to the age at which one becomes infected with the virus: 1.90% of infants exposed to the hepatitis B virus will develop chronic hepatitis B infections
2.Up to 50% of young children exposed to the hepatitis B virus between the ages of 1 and 5 years will develop chronic infections
3.5 - 10% of healthy adults who are infected will develop chronic infection.
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Diagnosis of Chronic Hepatitis B
People who test positive for the hepatitis B virus (HBsAg) for more than six months are diagnosed as having a chronic infection. This means they were not able to get rid of the virus and it still remains in their liver and blood. Since chronically infected individuals can pass the virus on, they should follow safe sex practices and avoid spreading their blood to others. Sex partners and close family/household members should be screened and vaccinated.
Being diagnosed as having hepatitis B can be upsetting, but the good news is that most people with chronic hepatitis B should expect to live a long and healthy life. Although there is an increased risk for developing serious liver disease later in life, there are also several treatments available that can slow down the virus.
When a person is first infected with the hepatitis B virus, this is called an "acute infection". A person may not have any symptoms or s/he could become seriously ill. Most adults will recover and get rid of the virus without any problems. If the virus remains in the blood for more than six months, then a person is diagnosed as having a "chronic infection".
Fortunately, most healthy adults (90%) who are infected with the hepatitis B virus will recover and develop protective antibodies against future hepatitis B infections.
Unfortunately, this is not true for infants and young children — 90% of infants and up to 50% of young children infected with hepatitis B will not get rid of the virus and will develop a chronic infection. A smaller number of infected adults (5-10%) will also become chronically infected with hepatitis B.
A simple blood test can diagnose a hepatitis B infection. Repeated blood tests may be ordered over a six-month period to make an accurate diagnosis.
List of companies working with Hepatitis B vaccines
3. CSC Pharmaceuticals
4. Crucell Products
5. Novartis Vaccines
6. Pfizer etc.
List of conferences on Hepatitis B
1. EASL Special Conference: Optimal Management of Hepatitis B Virus Infection
2. Paris Hepatitis conference
Associations working on chronic Hepatitis B
1. EASL- European association for the study of Liver
2. Hepatitis B - American Sexual Health Association
3. Hepatitis B Foundation
4. New Zealand Society of Gastroenterology
This page will be updated regularly.
This page was last updated on 01st Nov, 2014
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