What is hepatitis B?

Hepatitis B (Hep B) is a serious infection caused by the hepatitis B virus that affects the liver.  Symptoms include loss of appetite, tiredness, yellowing of the skin or eyes, diarrhea and vomiting, and pain in muscles, joints, and stomach.  Long-term infection with hepatitis B can lead to liver damage, liver cancer, and/or death.

How do you get hepatitis B?

Hep B can be spread through contract with the blood or other body fluids of an infected person.  You can become infected by:

  • Contact with blood and body fluids through breaks in the skin such as bites, cuts, or sores;
  • Contact with objects that have blood or body fluids on them such as toothbrushes, razors, or monitoring and treatment devices for diabetes;
  • Having unprotected sex with an infected person;
  • Being stuck with a used needle

Why get vaccinated?

The hepatitis B vaccine can prevent and provide long-term protection from Hep B infection and its serious consequences including liver damage and liver cancer.

Who should get vaccinated?

All unvaccinated adults at risk for hepatitis B infection.
This includes:
  • Sex partners of people infected with hepatitis B,
  • Men who have sex with men,
  • People with more than one sex partner,
  • People with chronic liver or kidney disease,
  • People under 60 years of age with diabetes,
  • People with jobs that expose them to human blood or other body fluids,
  • Household contacts of people infected with Hep B,
  • Residents and staff in institutions for the developmentally disabled,
  • Kidney dialysis patients,
  • People who travel to countries where Hep B is common,
  • People with HIV infection

How can you learn more?

  • Please feel free to speak with one of our pharmacists
  •  Contact the Centers for Disease Control and Prevent ion (CDC):
    o Call 1-800-232-4636 (1-800-CDC-INFO) or
    o Visit CDC’s website at http://www.cdc.gov