Hepatitis B: Hepatitis B is a potentially life-threatening liver infection caused by the hepatitis B virus. It is a major global health problem. It can cause chronic infection and puts people at high risk of death from cirrhosis and liver cancer.Symptoms: Most people do not experience any symptoms during the acute infection phase. However, some people have acute illness with symptoms that last several weeks, including yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice), dark urine, extreme fatigue, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain.
Causes:The virus also can pass from a mother to her newborn child at birth or soon afterward. Most adults with hepatitis B get better, but a small percentage can't shake the disease and become carriers, which means they can spread it to others even when their own symptoms disappear.Diagnosis: Laboratory diagnosis of hepatitis B infection focuses on the detection of the hepatitis B surface antigen HBsAg. Acute HBV infection is characterized by the presence of HBsAg and immunoglobulin M (IgM) antibody to the core antigen, HBcAg. The presence of HBeAg indicates that the blood and body fluids of the infected individual are highly contagious.
Treatment: care is aimed at maintaining comfort and adequate nutritional balance, including replacement of fluids lost from vomiting and diarrhoea. Chronic hepatitis B infection can be treated with drugs, including oral antiviral agents.Statistics: Rates for hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) and antibody to hepatitis B core antigen (anti-HBc) of 1.8% and 35.4%, respectively, were found. Increasing age, male gender, illiteracy and history of multiple sexual partners were associated with hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. An occult HBV infection rate of 1.7% (5/295) was found among anti-HBc-positive individuals. HBV genotype A (subtype Aa) was dominant in this community. Only 5/878 individuals (0.6%)