Like hepatitis A, hepatitis B is also a virus that affects the liver. It is called acute hepatitis B when people get it for a short time and then get better and is the more common type. In some cases, the virus may cause infection that remains for long time, then it is called chronic hepatitis B. Without proper treatment and diagnosis, it may also damage your liver. In babies and young children, this virus is more likely to cause the chronic type. Chances are that you may have this condition and still not know it. Symptoms may not appear and even if they do, they make you feel like having a cold or flu. You may spread the virus as long as you have it.
Hepatitis B Causes
The main cause of this condition is the hepatitis B virus. It spreads through contact with body fluids and blood from an infected person. Your chances of getting this disease increases if you do the following:
- Share needles for injecting drugs with an infected person.
- Having sex with a person with this infection without a condom.
- Getting a tattoo or piercing done with tools which were not sterilized.
- Sharing of personal items like toothbrushes, razors with a person with this disease.
A mother may pass this virus to her baby during the time of birth. Hence experts recommend all pregnant women to get tested for hepatitis B. You will not get this disease from casual contact like sneezing, coughing, kissing, hugging or sharing drinks or food.
Hepatitis B Symptoms?
Since in many cases, the symptoms may not appear, many people with this disease don’t even know they have it. Hepatitis B symptoms include the following:
- Mild fever
- Loss of appetite
- Pain in the belly
- Dark urine
- Feeling sick in the stomach
- Yellowish skin and eyes in case of jaundice
- Tan colored stools
Jaundice normally occurs after other symptoms start to go away. People having chronic type do not have any symptoms.