When an individual has hepatitis B, it is distinguished by the yellow eyeballs and skin that can be disturbing. The other signs and symptoms of hepatitis B infection must not be ignored though. By being familiar with the signs and symptoms of the disease, it is vital so that early treatment can be started by some can only be detected through a blood test. If you will register for first aid training today, you can familiarize yourself with the usual indications of the disease.
What you need to know about hepatitis B
Hepatitis B is the virus that easily spreads via contact with bodily fluids or blood. Take note that this exposure usually occurs at mucosal surfaces such as openings in the skin. The virus can be resilient since it can survive up to a week. The virus can be acquired through the birth process, pierced by a blood-contaminated needle or sexual activity. Oftentimes, the infection does not clear up and will later on cause cirrhosis, liver cancer or liver failure. There are medications that can control but not cure a chronic case of hepatitis B. Just remember that hepatitis B infection can be prevented through immunization.
The early indications of a hepatitis B infection are quite similar to other viral illnesses. Poor appetite, fatigue, nausea, vomiting and abdominal discomfort can occur. Take note that hepatitis B can also cause cough, runny nose or sore throat.
If fever is present, it is usually low. After a week, the symptoms that clearly indicate the involvement of the liver can manifest. In such circumstances, the urine will darken while the bowel movements will lose their normal color and become clay or chalk-colored. At this point, jaundice which is the yellowish discoloration of the eyeballs and skin can occur.
What are the other symptoms?
In some cases, the individual will notice rash, joint pain or muscle ache during the initial part of the condition. Rarely, the initial hepatitis B infection progresses as a deadly illness which includes high fever, confusion, swelling of the body and brain, coma and even death.
In most cases, hepatitis B infection is usually silent or unrecognized. It is not wise to self-diagnose the condition since various health issues have similar symptoms. The infection can be confirmed with a blood test. It might not be suspected until the symptoms of late-stage liver problems start to manifest. These include abdominal pain or swelling, itchiness of the skin, nausea, fatigue and jaundice.
Considerations to bear in mind
Pregnant women are regularly tested for hepatitis B while newborns are given their first of the three hepatitis B vaccines while still in the hospital. It is recommended that adults who face a high risk for hepatitis as well as those younger than 18 years old must be vaccinated.
The high risk groups include those who have more than one sexual partner, those diagnosed as HIV positive, those who have chronic kidney or liver disease and those who work with blood or blood products. Additionally, other high risk groups include those who travel in countries where hepatitis B is common and those who use drugs. If an individual has any of the indications of hepatitis B infection, he/she must seek immediate medical care.