Hepatitis B: How To Detect It

Hepatitis B is the most common form of acute and chronic viral hepatitis (liver inflammation). Exposure to any body fluids - especially semen and saliva - can transmit the virus.

The virus can also be transmitted through cuts or abrasions - and this is the reason for the American Academy of Pediatrics warning. Parents and children should also be aware that transmission is also possible via toothbrushing, ear piercing and tattooing.

The symptoms vary depending on the individual.

But they may include the following:

SYMPTOMS
Loss of appetite
Headaches
Vomiting
Fever
Abdominal pain
A yellowing of the skin and eyes
(This is known as jaundice.)
A change in color or blood in stools and urine
Lack of sex drive
Weight loss


There is no treatment other than supportive care. In severe cases, some patients develop significant liver failure and require a period of hospital treatment.

For more complete information, visit:

CBS News Healthwatch and American Liver Foundation Web sites.

©1999 CBS Worldwide Inc. All Rights Reserved
  • CBSNews.com staff CBSNews.com staff

Comments

Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.