Digestive Diseases and Hepatitis B
How Can I Prevent Getting Hepatitis B or Spreading It?
To help keep hepatitis B infection from spreading:
- Get vaccinated (if you have not already been infected).
- Use condoms every time you have sex.
- Wear gloves when touching or cleaning up body secretions of others on personal items, such as bandages/Band-Aids, tampons, and linens.
- Cover all open cuts or wounds.
- Do not share razors, toothbrushes, manicuring tools, or pierced earrings with anyone.
- Do not share chewing gum or pre-chew food for a baby.
- Make certain that any needles for drugs, ear piercing, or tattooing are properly sterilized.
- Clean areas with blood on them with one part household bleach and 10 parts water.
Can I Get Hepatitis B From Blood Transfusions?
The chance of becoming infected with hepatitis B from receiving blood transfusions is unlikely because donated blood is tested for the virus. Any infected blood is discarded.
Who Should Be Vaccinated for Hepatitis B?
Hepatitis B vaccinations should be administered to:
- All newborn babies
- People who are exposed to infected blood or body fluids of friends or family members
- People who use needles to take recreational drugs
- All people who have sex with more than one person
- Health care providers who may come in contact with the virus
- People working in day care centers and institutions caring for children and prisoners
Is There a Cure for Hepatitis B?
Currently, there is no cure for hepatitis B. Luckily, the disease is limited in most acute cases and occasionally disappears in those with chronic disease.