What is hepatitis B?
Hepatitis B is liver disease caused by infection with the
hepatitis B virus (HBV). Hepatitis B is one of the most common forms of
viral hepatitis, which includes
hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E. But hepatitis has many
other causes, including some medicines, fatty deposits in the liver, long-term
alcohol use, and exposure to certain industrial chemicals.
Hepatitis B can damage liver cells and cause the liver to become
swollen and tender (liver inflammation). Chronic infections can cause permanent
HBV can cause an acute or chronic infection. In acute infections,
hepatitis B usually goes away on its own, and medicines are not needed.
What is chronic hepatitis B infection?
You have chronic HBV infection when the virus continues to
multiply in your body for longer than 6 months. Most people with chronic HBV
infection have no symptoms. But they can pass HBV to other people, especially
the people they live with or have sex with. People with chronic HBV infection
are at increased risk of chronic hepatitis, which can lead to complications
such as scarring of the liver (cirrhosis),
liver cancer, liver failure, and death.
If you need more information, see the topic