Hep B - It's family business

Posted 18 September, 2020
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What is hepatitis B?

Hepatitis B is a liver infection caused by the hepatitis B virus. It can lead to liver damage and liver cancer. Many people who have the virus don’t know that they are infected. The most common way hepatitis B is passed on in many countries is from mother to baby at birth.

Hepatitis – the basics.

The word ‘hepatitis’ means inflammation of the liver. The liver is very important for your wellbeing. When the liver is inflamed or damaged, it may not work properly and this can affect your health. Inflammation of the liver can be caused by alcohol, drugs or viruses. In Australia the most common viruses that can cause hepatitis are the hepatitis A virus, the hepatitis B virus and the hepatitis C virus. These viruses are all different, the only thing they have in common is that they all affect the liver. Hepatitis A is transmitted (passed on) through contaminated food or water. The body gets rid of the virus by itself after a short period of time. There is a vaccine to prevent hepatitis A. Hepatitis C is transmitted through blood-to-blood contact and can cause liver damage and liver cancer. Treatment is available for hepatitis C, but there is no vaccine to prevent it. This brochure contains information about hepatitis B. There is a vaccine to prevent hepatitis B and there are medications for people who already have the disease.


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