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Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a serious infection of the liver caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV). Hepatitis B can cause acute and chronic conditions in patients. If you have entered a chronic level, this disease can endanger the lives of sufferers. If not treated immediately, chronic hepatitis B depression is at risk of developing cirrhosis, liver cancer, or liver failure.

Hepatitis B is difficult to recognize because the symptoms are not immediately felt and some even do not appear. For this reason, many people do not realize that they have been infected. This virus usually develops for 1-5 months from exposure to the virus until the first symptoms appear.

Some common symptoms of hepatitis B include:

  • Loss of appetite.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Pain in the lower abdomen.
  • Yellow pain (seen from the skin and the whites of the eyes that turn yellow).
  • Symptoms that resemble a cold, such as fatigue, pain in the body, and headaches.

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B sufferers

Hepatitis B is a world health problem. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that more than 680 thousand people die each year due to complications of hepatitis B, such as siroris and liver cancer.

How to Transmit Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B can spread through blood and body fluids, such as sperm and vaginal fluids. Some methods of transmission generally include:

  • Sexual contact. For example, changing partners and having sex without a safety device.
  • Sharing syringes. For example using a syringe that has been contaminated with blood from hepatitis B sufferers.
  • Accidental needle contact. For example health workers (paramedics) who often deal with human blood.
  • Mother and baby. Mothers who are pregnant can transmit the disease to their babies during labor.

Diagnosis of Hepatitis B

Diagnosis of hepatitis B is done through a series of blood tests, namely antigen tests and antibodies for the hepatitis B virus, as well as blood tests to see liver function.

There are three types of antigen checks and antibodies for hepatitis B, namely hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg), hepatitis B core antigen (HbcAg), hepatitis B surface antigen antibody (anti-HBsAg). Each of these tests has a different function, and will be explained in more detail in the diagnosis section.

Liver function tests are performed to check for possible other liver diseases. This is because the symptoms of hepatitis B often resemble other diseases, especially disorders of the liver. On this examination, it will be seen whether there is an increase in liver enzymes, which indicates that your heart is under pressure or is experiencing certain disorders.

Acute and Chronic Hepatitis B

There are two types of hepatitis B infections, namely acute (occurring in a short time) and chronic (long term). Acute infections are generally experienced by adults. If you experience acute hepatitis B, your immune system can usually eliminate the virus from your body and you will recover within a few months.

Chronic hepatitis B occurs when the virus stays in the body for more than six months. This type of hepatitis B is more common in infants and children. Children who are infected with the virus at birth are at risk of experiencing hepatitis B four to five times greater than children infected in infancy.

As many as 20 percent of adults who are exposed to this virus will lead to the diagnosis of chronic hepatitis B. Patients with chronic hepatitis B can transmit the virus even without showing any symptoms. Based on WHO research, about 3 out of 10 chronic hepatitis B sufferers will experience cirrhosis.

Cirrhosis is a long-term or chronic liver damage that causes injury to the liver. The development of a disease that slowly results in healthy tissue being replaced by damaged tissue. The function of the liver in processing nutrients, hormones, drugs, and poisons produced by the body will slow down.

Hepatitis B treatment

There are no specific steps in the treatment of hepatitis B. The goal of treatment for this condition is to reduce symptoms with painkillers, as well as maintain the patient's daily comfort and nutritional balance.

Meanwhile, treatment for chronic hepatitis B depends on the severity of the infection in the liver. Handling this disease is using drugs that function to inhibit the production of viruses and prevent damage to the liver.

Vaccines and Prevention of Hepatitis B

An effective step in preventing hepatitis B is to do a vaccine. The vaccine administration process is carried out three times, namely when the child is born, when the child is 1 month old, and when the child is 3-6 months old. However, adults of all ages are also encouraged to receive the hepatitis B vaccine, especially if they are at high risk of contracting hepatitis B. Examples include:

  • People who have more than one sexual partner.
  • People who use injecting drugs or have sex with injecting drug users.
  • Health workers (paramedics) who are at risk of being exposed to the hepatitis B virus.
  • People who live at home with hepatitis B sufferers.
  • Patients with chronic liver disease.
  • Patients with kidney disease.


Hepatitis B examination is also applied to pregnant women. If the mother has this disease, the baby must receive the vaccine at birth (12 hours after delivery) to prevent mother-to-child transmission. Other steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of getting hepatitis B include:

  • Stop or don't use illegal drugs.
  • Avoid sharing use of items such as toothbrushes, earrings, or shaving tools.
  • Beware when you want to pierce or tattoo the body.
  • Do not have sex without a safety device unless you believe your partner does not have hepatitis B or other sexually transmitted diseases.


If you have been in contact with one of the hepatitis B sufferers within the last 24 hours, immediately consult a doctor. The risk of transmission of this disease can be reduced by administering hepatitis B immunoglobulin injections. This is a drug solution containing antibodies to fight the hepatitis B virus.



Aspinall, et al. (2011). Hepatitis B Prevention, Diagnosis, Treatment, and Care: A Review. Occupational Medicine.

World Health Organization (2018). Hepatitis B

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Is a health and wellness enthusiast. In him free time, she loves to travel and taste different types of teas.