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: Hepatitis B spreads in several ways. You can get it from sex with someone who's sick or by sharing a needle when using street drugs. 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: The incidence of hepatitis B in the Sweden has fallen between 1997 and 2011, from 10.0 to 2.5 per 100,000 populations. In 2011 one per 100,000 populations while four central and eastern EU Member States reported notification rates above three per 100,000 population Male cases accounted for 56%. Children aged five to 14 years were most affected and there was a peak in reported cases in September and October as people returned from holidays and family visits in endemic countries. From 2005 to 2012, the reported proportion of cases infected abroad ranged from 49 to 80% in Sweden (average: 65%).