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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.

 

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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by William Blahd, MD on July 09, 2014

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