How to find people with hepatitis

Since that time, reported cases of HBV have been fluctuating around 3, cases per year. Globally, HBV is the most common blood-borne infection with an estimated million people infected according to the World Health Organization. In the U. The most common risk factor among people with new HBV infections was injecting drugs, related to the opioid crisis.

The highest rates of chronic hepatitis B infection in the United States occur among foreign-born individuals, especially people born in Asia, the Pacific Islands, and Africa. Over half of cases in the United States are among people who were born outside of the United States.

What is hepatitis B?

CDC developed this map of the geographic distribution of hepatitis B around the world. Other groups who have higher rates of chronic HBV infection include people who inject drugs and men who have sex with men. About 10 percent of people living with HIV in the United States are coinfected with HBV reflecting the shared modes of transmission for these two infections.

All people with HIV are recommended to be tested for HBV and if susceptible, are further recommended to receive the HBV vaccination or, if chronically infected, evaluated for treatment to prevent liver disease and liver cancer. Hepatitis B is spread in several distinct ways: sexual contact; sharing needles, syringes, or other drug-injection equipment; or from mother to baby at birth.

Less commonly reported risk factors included accidental needle sticks, surgery, transfusions, and household contact with a person with HBV.

Hepatitis C

Mother-to-child transmission of HBV is especially concerning, because it is preventable. An estimated 25, infants are born to mothers diagnosed with HBV each year in the United States, and approximately 1, mothers transmit HBV to their infants. Tragically 90 percent of HBV-infected newborns will develop chronic infection, remaining infected throughout their lives, and up to 25 percent of people infected at birth will die prematurely of HBV-related causes.

For this reason, the standard of care for pregnant women includes an HBV test during each pregnancy so that the appropriate steps can be taken to prevent HBV-positive mothers from transmitting the disease to her infant. Globally, mother-to-child transmission and inadequate infection control in health care settings represent significant modes of viral hepatitis transmission. Hepatitis B is a vaccine-preventable disease.

The hepatitis B vaccine is safe and effective and is usually given as 3 shots over a 6-month period starting at birth. A newly approved hepatitis B vaccine for adults requires only two doses given over 30 days, which provides an opportunity to increase protection among adults more rapidly with fewer medical visits. There is also a combination vaccine approved for adults that protects people from both hepatitis A and hepatitis B.

The combined vaccine is usually given as 3 shots over a 6-month period. These tools may support increased vaccination in settings such as jails, prisons, and substance use disorder prevention and treatment programs. Immunization programs for infants and adolescents that started in have resulted in substantial declines in the incidence of HBV infection in young people. Find out if you should get the hepatitis B vaccine. Also, the Hepatitis B vaccine is a covered preventive service under many health plans.

Hepatitis B can also be prevented by avoiding contact with contaminated blood and unprotected sexual exposure. Using condoms has also been shown to reduce the chance of sexually transmitted infections. Mother-to-child HBV transmission can be prevented by identifying pregnant women who are chronically infected and providing the infant with hepatitis B vaccine and hepatitis B immunoglobulin at birth. Recently updated guidelines also recommend that pregnant women with chronic HBV be referred to a specialist and considered for HBV treatment to further reduce the chance of transmitting the virus.

The only way to find out if you have a hepatitis B infection is to get an HBV test. All it takes is a simple blood test. Hepatitis B testing is a covered preventive service under many health plans. Being aware of your hepatitis B status is important because treatments are available that reduce the chance of developing liver disease and liver cancer. Within 12 hours of birth, infants born to mothers with hepatitis B need to receive treatment with hepatitis B antibody and hepatitis B vaccine.

This can prevent transmission of hepatitis B from mother to the baby. Blood products are currently tested for hepatitis B and C, so it is not likely that a person will get hepatitis from receiving them. However, blood transfusions or organ transplants before might have not been tested for hepatitis.

Viral Hepatitis (A, B, C) Symptoms & Treatment | Cleveland Clinic

If you received a procedure before , you might want to get tested for hepatitis. If you are part of this group you should be screened for hepatitis C even in the absence of risk factors listed above.


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Contact your healthcare provider as soon as possible if you have any or a combination of these symptoms. Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. There are many causes of hepatitis and prevention is discussed. Hepatitis Types A, B, and C are outlined. What is hepatitis? Several viruses are known to cause hepatitis. Common forms of viral hepatitis include: Hepatitis A : According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were about 3, instances of acute hepatitis A infections in the U.

This form of hepatitis does not lead to a chronic infection and usually has no complications. The liver usually heals from hepatitis A within 2 months. However, occasional deaths from hepatitis A have occurred due to liver failure.

Hepatitis A can be prevented by vaccination. Hepatitis B : This form of hepatitis infects between , and , people in the U. Most people recover from the virus within 6 months. However, a few cases cause a life-long, chronic infection. Chronic hepatitis causes ongoing damage to the liver. The earlier in life hepatitis B is contracted, the more likely it is to become chronic. People can carry the virus without feeling sick. These people can still spread the virus. Hepatitis B can be prevented by getting a vaccine. Hepatitis C : Hepatitis C is one of the most common causes of liver disease in the U.

About 3. It often does not show any symptoms.