Friday, June 09, 2006

Everyone Should Know about Hepatitis B



Hepatitis B was a disease that my father contracted and he died from it at a very young age, leaving behind my mother and my two younger siblings.

WHAT IS HEPATITIS B?

Hepatitis B is caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV) that attacks the liver. According to CDC, the virus can cause lifelong infection, cirrhosis (scaring) of the liver, liver cancer, liver failure, and death.


POSSIBLE ROUTES OF EXPOSURE

Contact with body fluids of an infected person, such as blood, semen, vaginal fluids, and saliva.
A woman infected with hepatitis B can pass the virus on to her baby during childbirth.
Tattooing, acupuncture, electrolysis and body piercing equipment if not sterilized properly before use.
Having unprotected sexual intercourse
Using contaminated needles to inject drugs

SYMPTOMS

Loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, fever
Aching muscles and sometimes joint pain
Tenderness in the right upper abdomen
Jaundice (yellowing of skin and eyes)
Tea-colored urine; putty-like or white stool

INTERESTING FACTS

Highest rate of disease occurs in 20-49-year-olds.
Drinking alcohol can make your liver disease worse.
Hepatitis B is common in areas, such as China, southeast Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa.

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