What Is Hepatitis B and What Causes It?

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Definition Hepatitis B is a serious liver infection caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV). A chronic hepatitis B, which lasts more than six months, increases your risk of developing liver failure, liver cancer or cirrhosis, which is a condition that permanently creates scars of the liver. A vaccine can prevent hepatitis B, but there's no cure for it. If you're infected, taking certain precautions can help prevent spreading the virus to others. Causes Hepatitis B infection is caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV) which is passed from person to person through blood, semen or other body fluids, excluding sneezing or coughing. It can spread by:
  • Sexual contact if you have unprotected sex with someone who is infected.
  • Sharing of needles.
  • Accidental needle sticks.
  • Mother to child. However, the newborn can be vaccinated to avoid getting infected in almost all cases.