Vaccination & Treatment at WTMF in Fremont
Hepatitis B is a very serious viral infection that attacks the liver and
results in acute and chronic disease. This infection is caused by a virus
that is transmitted through contact with the bodily fluids or blood of
someone who is infected. There are an estimated 240 million people who
are chronically infected with hepatitis B. Every year, approximately 686,000
people die because of complications related to this disease, which can
include cancer of the liver and cirrhosis.
This deaths are all the more tragic because hepatitis B is highly preventable.
A vaccine is in place that can prevent this condition. It is both safe
and extremely effective—in fact, the vaccine is about 95% effective
in preventing hepatitis B. Introduced in 1982, this vaccine has saved
countless lives. Healthcare workers should be especially diligent about
vaccinating against hepatitis B, as it is a frequent health hazard for
those who work in the medical industry.
Symptoms of Hepatitis B
In most cases, people with an acute hepatitis B infection do not exhibit
symptoms. Others may experience serious illness with symptoms such as:
- Yellow skin and eyes; jaundice
- Dark-colored urine
- Nausea and vomiting
- Stomach pain
- Severe exhaustion
Some people with acute hepatitis may develop acute liver failure. This
can cause death. Others may experience a chronic liver infection, which
can become liver cancer or cirrhosis later in life. Whether or not a person
will develop a chronic infection typically depends on the age at which
a person becomes infected with hepatitis B. Children are much more at
risk than adults.