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?
- 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