Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a viral infection. It is one of the most common, serious infectious disease in the world. It is a common infectious disease in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and other south-east Asian countries, most people recover completely from acute hepatitis B infection but some patients with impaired immune systems will become chronic carriers.



In 1994 , 3,078 cases of Hepatitis B were reported in Canada


  1. mother to child during delivery
  2. sexual contact
  3. contact with blood or blood products and to a lesser extent , saliva, semen, and other body fluids of an infected person. It is spread by direct contact with infected body fluids usually by needle stick injury or sexual contact. 


Clinical Features

  • the usual signs and symptoms may include: fever, fatigue, muscle or joint pain, hives or rash, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting.
  • When infected with hepatitis, many people think they have the flu and do not attribute their symptoms to such a virus.
  • there is no special medicines or antibiotics that can be used to treat a person once the symptoms appear.

Risk Groups

  • injection drug users
  • sexually active heterosexuals
  • homosexual men
  • infants/children of immigrants from disease-endemic areas
  • low socioeconomic level
  • sexual/household contact of infected persons
  • infants born to infected mothers
  • Health care workers with exposure to blood/blood products
  • Hemodialysis patients
  • persons with needle stick injury
  • persons who are sexually active with multiple partners
  • persons with tattoos, ear piercing or body piercing with unsterile needles
  • institutionalized persons
  • family of infected people
  • Hepatitis b vaccine --this has been available since 1982
  • Hepatitis B can be prevented with a safe and effective vaccine. It recommended for people in high-risk settings who have not already been infected and infants who are born to mothers who are carrying the virus.
  • Carriers should not share razors, toothbrushes or any other object that may become contaminated with blood . In addition, susceptible household members, particularly sexual partners, should be immunized with Hepatitis b vaccine.
  • It is important for carriers to inform their dentist and health care providers.