In the quest to cure hepatitis B, an infectious disease that afflicts as many as one in four people worldwide, a small laboratory in a lonely nook of the Rocky Mountains of Idaho plays an outsize role. The lab, two nondescript buildings that abut a forest off a dirt road, houses 600 woodchucks, also known as groundhogs. These large rodents are a natural host for a cousin of the hepatitis B virus (HBV), making them a favorite research model for studying the disease.
Chronic hepatitis B hasn’t been cured so far in part because current therapies have failed to destroy the viral reservoir, where the virus hides in the cell.
This is in contrast to hepatitis C virus, which has no such viral reservoir and can now be cured with as little as 12 weeks of treatment.
Hepatitis B surface antigen is the earliest indicator of the presence of acute infection. Also indicative of chronic infection.
The USPSTF gave hepatitis B screening a "B" grade for high-risk populations, which means that under the Affordable Care Act, hepatitis B screening will be provided at no-cost under private health insurance plans, Medicare, and Medicaid, depending on the state. This includes screening the foreign-born coming from countries with a 2 percent prevalence rate of hepatitis B or above, which was not included prior to this recommendation.
Those who are at risk for hepatitis B, and for HIV, who are fearful or less trusting of the health system, need to feel comfortable enough to get tested, and to get into care. Talk to your friends and family about hepatitis B and HIV. Someone you know may be the one in 12 that has HBV.
This report contains CDC guidance that augments the 2011 recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) for evaluating hepatitis B protection among health-care personnel (HCP) and administering post-exposure prophylaxis.
So, what makes this disease so easy to ignore? Hepatitis B is unfortunately an invisible disease; it can take up to 20-30 years before symptoms appear, at which time cirrhosis or liver cancer may have already developed. Hepatitis B is a silent killer and it affects a population invisible to the media and policy.
HEPBMDTM is designed to help healthcare professionals navigate the challenges associated with the diagnosis and management of patients with chronic hepatitis B (CHB).
Hep B United is a national coalition dedicated to reducing the health disparities associated with hepatitis B by increasing awareness, screening, vaccination, and linkage to care for high-risk communities across the United States.
The Hepatitis B Foundation is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to finding a cure and improving the quality of life for those affected by hepatitis B worldwide. Our commitment includes funding focused research, promoting disease awareness, supporting immunization and treatment initiatives and serving as the primary source of information for patients and their families, the medical and scientific community and the general public.
The best way to prevent hepatitis B is to be vaccinated. Two HBV vaccines are available: Recombivax HB and Engerix-B. Both of these vaccines require three injections administered over a six-month period. The side effects of the hepatitis B vaccine are usually mild and may include soreness at the injection site and mild flu-like symptoms.
Hepatitis B news articles.
About 95% of adults who are exposed to HBV fully recover within 6 months (acute HBV) without medication. About 5% have HBV all their lives (chronic HBV) unless they are successfully treated with medications. Infants born to mothers infected with HBV are at high risk of developing chronic HBV. Chronic HBV can lead to cirrhosis (scarring) of the liver, liver cancer, and liver failure.
Hepatitis B can be either acute or chronic. Acute Hepatitis B virus infection is a short-term illness that occurs within the first 6 months after someone is exposed to the Hepatitis B virus. Acute infection can — but does not always — lead to chronic infection.
If you know you've been exposed to the hepatitis B virus, call your doctor immediately. If you haven't been vaccinated or aren't sure whether you've been vaccinated or whether you responded to the vaccination, receiving an injection of hepatitis B immune globulin within 12 hours of coming in contact with the virus may help protect you from developing hepatitis B. You should be vaccinated at the same time.
Hepatitis B is preventable through vaccination. All children should receive the vaccine. In addition, adults at high risk for hepatitis B should be vaccinated.
If you get HBV, you may feel as if you have the flu. You may also have jaundice, a yellowing of skin and eyes, dark-colored urine, and pale bowel movements. Some people have no symptoms at all. A blood test can tell if you have it. HBV usually gets better on its own after a few months. If it does not get better, it is called chronic HBV, which lasts a lifetime. Chronic HBV can lead to scarring of the liver, liver failure, or liver cancer.
The vast majority of people infected with hepatitis B are able to fight off the virus and fully recover from the infection within a couple of months.
Most people with chronic hepatitis B have very little liver damage. A small minority of people go on to develop cirrhosis of the liver and, in some cases, liver cancer.
It's therefore important to get yourself vaccinated if you fall into one of the high-risk groups for catching hepatitis B.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has estimated that over 350 million people worldwide are chronically infected with HBV.
•Worldwide, hepatitis B is the most common cause of hepatitis.
•In many high-prevalence countries, 10% or more of the population have chronic hepatitis B infection.
Hepatitis B is a potentially life-threatening liver infection caused by the hepatitis B virus. It is a major global health problem. It can cause chronic infection and puts people at high risk of death from cirrhosis and liver cancer.