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Hepatitis B

(continued)

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.

 

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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Debbie Bridges, MD on July 28, 2012
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