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.
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.
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. 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.
care is aimed at maintaining comfort and adequate nutritional balance, including replacement of fluids lost from vomiting and diarrhoea. .hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection in The Netherlands between 1996 and 2007, and to identify risk factors for HBV infection in 2007. Representative samples of the Dutch population in 1996 and 2007 were tested for antibodies to hepatitis B core antigen (anti-HBc), hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) and HBV-DNA. In 2007, the weighted anti-HBc prevalence was 3·5% (95% CI 2·2-5·5) and the HBsAg prevalence was 0·2% (95% CI 0·1-0·4). In indigenous Dutch participants, the anti-HBc prevalence was lower in 2007 than in 1996 (P=0·06).