Generally, hepatitis refers to the inflammatory condition of the liver which among other things is mostly caused by infection with one of the hepatitis viruses (A, B, C, D or E). Hepatitis B is a disease caused by a blood borne virus known as hepatitis B virus (HBV). It’s a contagious life threatening disease of the liver which ranges in severity from a mild illness of few weeks to a critical lifelong illness. In other word hepatitis B is an important form of both acute and chronic viral hepatitis. It is considered to be more easily transmitted, with degree of infectiousness 50 to 100 times higher than Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).
Hepatitis screening involves testing a small sample of blood for antigens and antibodies to determine whether the individual has been infected with viral hepatitis. Antigens are foreign substances, such as microorganisms (e.g., bacteria, fungi, parasites, viruses) or chemicals, which invade the body. When the body is exposed to antigens, it produces antibodies as a part of its immune response. Antibodies are proteins that bind to the antigens to try to clear them from the body. Hepatitis blood tests look for antigens or antibodies specific to each type of hepatitis virus.
The hepatitis B vaccine is a safe and effective vaccine that is recommended for all infants at birth and for children up to 18 years. The vaccine is also recommended for adult living with diabetes and those at high risk for the infection due to their jobs, lifestyle, living situations, or country of birth. Since everyone is at some risk, all adult should seriously consider getting the hepatitis B vaccine for a lifetime protection against a preventable chronic liver disease. The hepatitis B vaccine is also known as the first “anti-cancer” vaccine because it prevent hepatitis B, the leading cause of liver cancer worldwide.