Hepatitis B

What is it?

Hepatitis B is a virus that spreads through the blood and bodily fluids of an infected person. It causes severe liver damage. Hepatitis B is 100 times more infectious than HIV, with many people not even realising they have been infected.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms may not develop straight away or even at all. For people who do develop symptoms it can take between one and six months for them to develop.

Symptoms that may develop are:

  • Flu-like symptoms, such as tiredness, general aches and pains, headaches and fever
  • Loss of appetite and weight loss
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Stomach pains
  • Jaundice

How do I get tested?

You can visit any one of our centres across Walsall. Hepatitis B is diagnosed by a simple blood test.

Is there any treatment?

Hepatitis B cannot be treated, but infected people are advised to have plenty of rest and healthy food. Drug treatments can be given to manage the symptoms.

How can I prevent it?

Anyone who is at increased risk of being infected with the Hepatitis B virus, or who could be at risk of serious complications, should consider being vaccinated. You can protect yourself from Hepatitis B by using a condom every time you have vaginal, anal or oral sex.

If you would like to know more about Hepatitis B, visit the NHS Choices website.

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