When To Call a Doctor
Contact a doctor immediately if you have been diagnosed with
hepatitis B and develop severe
dehydration (caused by vomiting and an inability to
hold down fluids) or any of the following signs of rapidly developing liver
- Extreme irritability (greater than would be
expected in a person who is feeling ill).
- Impaired ability to think
or reason clearly.
- Extreme drowsiness.
- Swelling of the
arms, legs, hands, feet, abdomen, and/or face (edema).
bleeding from the nose, mouth, or rectum (including blood in the stool), or
under the skin.
- Yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes (jaundice).
If you witness a person with hepatitis B become
unconscious, call 911 or other emergency
Call to make an appointment if:
- You have any of the hepatitis B risk factors
listed in the What Increases Your Risk section of this topic, and you think you
need to be tested for hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection or receive the
hepatitis B vaccine.
- You have any symptoms of hepatitis B (see
the Symptoms section of this topic).
- Someone in your household has
been diagnosed with hepatitis B.
- Your sex partner has been
diagnosed with hepatitis B.
- You have been bitten by or exposed to
the blood or body fluids (such as
semen or vaginal fluids, including menstrual blood) of
someone who has hepatitis B.
Watchful waiting is a period of time during
which you and your doctor observe your symptoms or
condition without using medical treatment. Because of the need to prevent the
spread of hepatitis B, watchful waiting is not recommended if you have symptoms
of hepatitis B or if you think you have come in contact with the hepatitis B
virus (HBV). Because all forms of
viral hepatitis have similar symptoms, it is important
to see a doctor for a blood test when symptoms arise, so
that he or she can rule out other forms of the illness. A
doctor also can advise you about how to prevent the spread
of the virus.
Who To See
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection usually can be
The following specialists may work with your doctor to
To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.