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Hepatitis B


How Can I Avoid Becoming Infected, or Infecting Others With Hepaitis B?

The best ways to try and avoid becoming infected with hepatitis B include:

  • 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 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 jewelry with anyone.
  • Do not share chewing gum or pre-chew food for a baby.
  • Make certain that any needles for drugs, piercing, or tattooing are properly sterilized.
  • Clean areas with blood on them with one part household bleach and 10 parts water.


Can I Catch Hepatitis B From Blood Transfusions?

The chance of catching 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?

  • Everyone 18 years of age and younger, including all newborn babies, should be vaccinated for hepatitis B.
  • 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.
  • People who have hemodialysis (a procedure that cleans and filters the blood).
  • International travelers to areas where hepatitis B is widespread.

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.


WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Debbie Bridges, MD on July 28, 2012
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