How Hepatitis B Transmission Occurs is one of the questions that can make the difference between the success or failure of treatment against Hepatitis B. In addition, the virus that causes Hepatitis B (HBV) is a DNA virus, transmitted by blood (transfusions, contaminated needles, sexual intercourse, after childbirth, surgical or dental instruments, etc.).
Hepatitis B cannot be acquired through cutlery, plates, kissing, hugging or any other type of social activity where blood contact does not occur. After infection, the virus is concentrated almost entirely in the liver cells , where its DNA will make the hepatocyte build new viruses.
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The Hepatitis B virus is resistant, surviving up to 7 days in the external environment under normal conditions and with the risk of, if it comes into contact with blood through a needlestick, cut or wound (including manicure procedures with contaminated instruments), infection in 5 to 40% of unvaccinated people (the risk is higher than that observed for Hepatitis C virus – 3 to 10% or AIDS – 0.2-0.5%).
Causes of Hepatitis B: Among the causes of transmission of Hepatitis B are:
- By having sex without a condom with an infected person,
- From an infected mother to her child during pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding,
- When sharing material for drug use (syringes, needles, pipes), personal hygiene (shaving and waxing blades, toothbrushes , nail pliers or other objects that pierce or cut) or for tattooing and piercing,
- By transfusion of contaminated blood.
Symptoms of Hepatitis B: Although most adults develop symptoms of acute Hepatitis B virus infection , many children do not. Adults and children over the age of 5 are more likely to have symptoms. Seventy percent of adults develop symptoms of the infection. Symptoms of acute hepatitis B , if they appear, can include:
- Loss of appetite.
- Abdominal pain .
- dark urine.
- Joint pain .
- Jaundice (yellow color of the skin or eyes ).
How Hepatitis B Transmission Occurs: Hepatitis B transmission occursthrough contact with blood or body secretions contaminated by the HBV virus. Some forms of contamination are:
- Relationship without condom.
- Contaminated nail pliers (manicure).
- Share syringes.
- Piercings or tattoos performed with contaminated material.
- Blood transfusion performed before 1992.
- From mother to child through normal birth.
- Skin injury or accident with contaminated needles.
Saliva can also be one of the ways Hepatitis B is transmitted , through bites but not through kissing or other types of exposure to saliva. However, body fluids such as tears, sweat, urine, feces and breast milk are not capable of transmitting Hepatitis B.
Prevention of Hepatitis B: Preventing Hepatitis B transmission is easy. The first step is to get the vaccine correctly (all three doses), have regular exams and use condoms during sexual intercourse. Injecting drug users should not share needles, tattoos, acupuncture and piercings in dubious places or where it is not possible to ensure asepsis and correct sterilization of instruments.
Treatment of Hepatitis B: In most cases, treatment of acute Hepatitis B is aimed at relieving symptoms and warding off the risk of complications. At this stage, there is no consensus on the indication of antiviral drugs. Also, contrary to what was advocated in the past, the patient does not need to remain at rest, but must moderate physical activity.
Not all newly diagnosed chronic hepatitis B carriers need immediate treatment. When it becomes necessary, there are drugs that inhibit the replication of the virus and act to control the inflammatory response.