Causes and Diagnoses
Causes and Diagnoses of Hepatitis B
Hepatitis B is caused by infection with the hepatitis B virus. It is spread through contact with an infected person’s bodily fluids. The infected fluids include:
- Vaginal secretions
The virus is commonly spread through sharing drug supplies, razors and toothbrushes; accidental needle sticks and unprotected sex with an infected partner.
Diagnosing hepatitis B
Hepatitis B can be diagnosed with a physical exam, discussion of your symptoms and blood test. If the infection appears to be chronic, your physician may order:
- Liver biopsy: A small sample of the liver tissue is removed with a needle for analysis under a microscope.
- Ultrasound: This is a quick and easy diagnostic technique that uses high-frequency sound waves to create images of the organs and systems within the body. An ultrasound can determine the extent of liver disease.
Preventing the spread of hepatitis B
There are ways to minimize your risk of getting hepatitis B, including:
- Get the three-part vaccine if you are under 18 or at risk for HBV.
- Use a condom every time you have sex.
- Get tattoos and body piercings from trusted sources.
- Don’t share needles and drug supplies.
- Don’t share toothbrushes or razors.
- Don’t touch someone else’s bodily fluids except when wearing gloves.