Hepatitis B: how is it transmitted?
Hepatitis B is a viral disease that causes the hepatitis B virus (may be referred to as “HBV virus”, HBV or HBV). This virus is extremely stable, can save livelihoods in the external environment up to several weeks. Despite this, it is possible to cure hepatitis B quickly and effectively, as well as to avoid infection.
In order not to get sick of them, you need to know how hepatitis B is transmitted, who may be at risk and how to protect yourself from infection.
How is hepatitis B transmitted: methods of infection
- In hairdressing salons, tattoo parlors, medical institutions, you can become infected with hepatitis B, if sanitary standards are not observed there and work tools do not undergo a thorough treatment. In hospitals, it is possible to get hepatitis B through blood transfusions from a sick person to a healthy person, if it has not been tested for viruses. To protect yourself from infection, choose well-known organizations where professionals work, carefully monitor the cleanliness of the room and working tools. Usually such organizations have a lot of positive feedback, they are popular, and they have all the necessary documents.
- In everyday life, it is possible to get hepatitis B when using the same hygiene products with a sick person that can damage the skin: a razor, manicure tools, scissors, and syringes.
- Sexual transmission of the virus is likely to be 30%. The greatest risk of contracting hepatitis B will be in a person who has many partners for sex.
- Also at risk of getting hepatitis B are drug addicts who use the same syringe to inject drugs into the veins.
- An infected mother can infect her baby during pregnancy or childbirth. During pregnancy, infection occurs in case of damage to the placenta. The risk of infecting a small child is very high, so after giving birth to every baby, regardless of whether his mother is sick or not, they must make a vaccine against hepatitis B. A small amount of the virus in an infected mother is contained in breast milk, but they can be fed no infection here.
Mechanism of transmission of hepatitis b virus
We considered the ways of transmission of hepatitis B. But it is possible to get sick in various domestic cases, if this creates a favorable situation for the transmission of the virus.To protect yourself, you need to know what is the mechanism of transmission of the hepatitis B virus.
The virus is transferred to a healthy body with body fluids (sweat, blood, saliva, urine, feces) of a sick person, which penetrate into the blood of a healthy person (through skin damage). It is believed that you can not get hepatitis B through intact skin, as well as with hugs, with food, etc.
The disease may be asymptomatic, but certain symptoms of hepatitis B may also occur. These include yellowing of the skin and eyes, fatigue, nausea, dark urine, and pain in the abdomen. If you have any of these signs for a long time, you should check with the doctor.
People at risk
Now you know how hepatitis B is transmitted. It is also useful to know which people have the highest probability of getting hepatitis B.
Most often this type of hepatitis affects adults aged 20-50 years. Adolescents now suffer less due to high-quality and timely vaccination. If we talk about specific groups of people more susceptible than others to infection with hepatitis B, we can distinguish the following:
- people who have many sexual partners or have sex with those who have hepatitis B, as well as sexual partners of sick people;
- children of sick mothers;
- men who have homosexual contact;
- people who use drugs through syringes;
- health care workers;
- family members of a patient with hepatitis;
- hemodialysis patients;
- people receiving frequent blood transfusions.
How to protect yourself from hepatitis B infection
The exact guarantee that a person does not get sick with hepatitis B is available only to those who have already had it, and to people who are vaccinated. All others are more or less at risk of infection.
To check the risk of infection with hepatitis, you can take a blood test for the presence of the HBsAg virus antigen and antibodies to it. In order to protect yourself, get vaccinated in a timely manner, maintain personal hygiene, treat wounds and other skin damage and do not allow them to come into contact with non-sterile items. Choosing a hairdresser, hospital, tattoo parlor, etc., learn about the organization as much information as possible, evaluate how well the cleanliness of the room and hygiene of tools are observed.It is better to choose a popular, reputable organization. Take seriously the choice of sexual partner, exclude casual sexual relationships.
In milder forms of hepatitis B, the body itself is cured of the disease, but there are also severe forms that can lead to serious diseases - cancer and cirrhosis of the liver. Therefore, treatment for hepatitis B is necessary in any case.
Now, knowing how hepatitis B is transmitted, who is most at risk of infection and how to protect yourself from this disease, you can do everything possible to prevent them from getting sick, and also to protect your loved ones from it.