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Hepatitis B

Specailty Solutions for Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B

For the estimated 240 million Americans living with Hepatitis B (HBV), complex treatment regimens are crucial in limiting further damage to the liver.

HBV is a liver infection that can potentially cause life-threatening affects that is caused by an individual contracting the hepatitis B virus. HBV is organized into three different categories; acute, chronic and perinatal. This has shown to a major global health problem.

Since 1982, there has been a safe and effective vaccine available to help prevent against HBV. The vaccine has proven to be 95% effective in preventing infection as well as the further development of chronic diseases of the liver.

Hepatitis B

Incidence – HBV can progress into a lifelong illness of the liver if proper treatment is not sought out.

  • It is estimated that 850,000 to 2.2 million Americans are living with the HBV infection.
  • In 2014 alone, there an estimated 19,200 cases of acute HBV occurred.
  • HBV infections have declined by about 82% since a national strategy was implemented in 1991.

Cause – HBV is a contagious virus affecting the liver and spread by existing infected individuals. The virus is transmitted through contact with the blood or other body fluids of an infected person, including:

  • Sexual intercourse with an infected partner
  • Injection drug use that involves sharing needles, syringes, or drug-preparation equipment
  • Birth to an infected mother
  • Contact with open sores of an infected person
  • Needle sticks or sharp instrument exposures
  • Sharing items such as razors or toothbrushes with an infected person

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
  • Abdominal pain

Treatment

There is no specific treatment for acute HBV. Therefore, care is aimed at maintaining comfort and adequate nutritional balance, including replacement of fluids lost from vomiting and diarrhea.

Chronic HBV infection can be treated with drugs, including oral antiviral agents. Treatment can slow the progression of cirrhosis, reduce incidence of liver cancer and improve long term survival.

Learn more about Noble Health Services’ Management Program.