An infectious liver condition, hepatitis B. Hepatitis B virus is the root of the problem (HBV). Hepatitis B infections can only happen if the virus can get into the bloodstream and reach the liver. Once inside the liver, the virus multiplies and releases a significant quantity of fresh viruses into the blood. The body has a number of defenses to fight the sickness. The infected liver cells are attacked and destroyed by white blood cells, which defend the body against infections. The body also creates antibodies, which travel through the blood and work to neutralize the virus and guard against recurrent hepatitis B infections. The liver may not operate normally during the infection and recovery process, leading to sickness that affects the entire body. 10% of those who contract hepatitis B also become carriers for reasons that are not well understood. Their blood is infected for many months, years, and even permanently in certain cases. 70% of carriers progress to chronic persistent hepatitis B. The majority don't seem to be ill. Chronic liver disease affects the remaining 30% of carriers. This condition frequently worsens into cirrhosis, which may develop into liver cancer after 30 to 40 years. There is currently no treatment for carriers. Age at infection is inversely correlated with the likelihood of becoming a chronic carrier. For instance, a child has a 90-95% chance of being a carrier, compared to an adult's 3-10% chance. There are also additional viral hepatitis strains, including hepatitis A, C, D (delta), and E. Despite the fact that they also affect the liver, these illnesses and the viruses that cause them are unrelated to hepatitis B.
How much time does hepatitis B take to develop?
Hepatitis B symptoms typically appear 90 days after exposure, with the incubation period (the interval between first coming into contact with the virus and the commencement of the disease) ranging from 60 to 150 days.
How frequent is it?
According to the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), there are 650 cases of HBV reported annually in Canada, or 2.0 cases per 100,000 people. The incidence rate in 2013 was 0.5 per 100,000. (PHAC, published in 2016). Regional variations in disease incidence have been offset by rising vaccination rates and widespread immunization campaigns.
Where can you find the hepatitis B virus, and how does it spread?
Hepatitis B virus transmission in the workplace is primarily through blood. Other tissues and bodily fluids may also contain it, albeit at much lower levels. The likelihood of transmission changes depending on the precise source. The virus can continue to spread infection outside of the body for at least 7 days. Blood The hepatitis B virus can be spread by direct contact with infected blood through: skin punctures caused by sharp objects like lancets, scalpels, or needles that have been in contact with blood. Direct touch with an infected person's open sores Splashes to skin that have small burns, rashes, or even scratches or abrasions. Splashes to the eyes, nose, or mouth's mucous membranes. Hepatitis B viral transmission by indirect contact with blood-contaminated surfaces is also possible, albeit less so. At 25°C, the virus might remain stable in dried blood for up to 7 days. The virus can spread to the skin or mucous membranes by hand contact with blood-contaminated objects such lab benches, test tubes, or equipment. Saliva Hepatitis B virus can be found in the saliva of hepatitis B patients, however at much lower levels than in blood. Bite wounds can propagate the virus because injections of infected saliva can do so. No cases of hepatitis B have been linked to sharing utensils, mouthpieces from musical instruments, or oral contact with contaminated CPR manikins. Additional Body Tissues and Fluids Vaginal fluids and semen contain hepatitis B. The virus can be passed from partner to partner during unprotected sex as well as from mother to child after childbirth. The hepatitis B virus can be present in synovial fluid (joint lubricant), amniotic fluid, cerebral fluid, and peritoneal fluid (located in the abdominal cavity), however the danger of transmission to employees is unknown. Hepatitis B has not been linked to the spread by feces, nasal secretions, spit, perspiration, tears, urine, or vomit. There is very little chance of getting hepatitis B from these fluids at work unless they are obviously blood-contaminated. Casual contact does not result in the spread of hepatitis B. For instance, hospital staff who do not handle blood, blood products, or fluids contaminated with blood are not more at risk than the general public. However, in a family context, the virus can spread through close contact with carriers, perhaps as a result of frequent physical touch with minor cuts or skin rashes. The virus can also be spread by biting and, possibly, via sharing razors or toothbrushes. Sneezing, coughing, holding hands, hugging, kissing, breastfeeding, sharing eating utensils, water, or food do not spread it.
What professions carry a higher risk of contracting hepatitis B?
Health care workers who are frequently exposed to blood or blood products or those who are at risk of needlestick injuries are two occupational groupings that are generally associated with greater risk. either pathologists, lab workers, or embalmers. Dentists, dental assistants, and dental hygienists. Certain staff members of institutions for the developmentally handicapped. Staff of institutions where workers may be exposed to aggressive, biting residents. Travellers to regions with intermediate or high rates of endemic HBV infection (where it is found among many people in that area) may also consider being vaccinated.
How do you know if you have hepatitis B?
Signs and symptoms can vary, in particular by the age of the individual. Many individuals may not show symptoms (be asymptomatic). When symptoms develop, they include fever, joint pain, abdominal pain, fatigue, lack of appetite, nausea, vomiting, dark urine, clay-coloured bowel movements, or jaundice. Most infections are asymptomatic or mild. Occasionally, people with serious cases of hepatitis B require hospitalization. A very small proportion of these patients develop a critical form of the disease called """"fulminant"""" hepatitis B. This condition results from a sudden breakdown of liver function.
What laboratory tests are available for hepatitis B?
Tests are available to detect the types of antigens used to identify the hepatitis B virus. The tests determine if the virus is present in the body tissue or blood. The amount of each type of antigen present indicates how advanced the disease is and how infective the individual has become. Other tests are available to detect the body's reaction to the viral infection or the body's reaction to vaccination against the virus. These tests work by measuring the number of antibodies present in the blood.
What is the treatment for hepatitis B?
Prevention is recommended by receiving a vaccine for HBV. Receiving an injection of the hepatitis B immune globulin within 12 hours of coming in contact with the virus may help prevent the development of the disease. At present, there is no specific treatment for patients with acute hepatitis B. Acute infection is usually short and will often resolve on its own. Your health care provider may recommend rest, and adequate nutrition and fluids to help your body fight the infection. Hospitalization may be required for patients who suffer from severe vomiting and who are unable to maintain adequate nutritional levels. It may also be required to prevent the development of complications. While chronic infection cannot be cured, there are two standard treatments in Canada that may control the virus and prevent further damage to the liver. Antiviral medications can fight the virus and slow damage to the liver. Interferon which may be given for short periods and if effective, results in suppression of the virus. Physicians may do regular monitoring for signs of liver disease progression. A liver transplant may be recommended if the liver is severely damaged.
How can the spread of hepatitis B be prevented in the workplace?
The risk of hepatitis B can be significantly reduced by: Implementing infection control guidelines suitable for the specific workplace. Immunizing workers at risk. Infection Control Infection control precautions are the first line of defense to protect workers from hepatitis B and other blood-borne diseases. For this reason, the Public Health Agency of Canada recommends routine practices when there is a risk of exposure to blood or certain body fluids. Please see the OSH Answers document Routine Practices for more information. Immunization Hepatitis B vaccines are available in Canada. They provide safe, reliable protection from hepatitis B when used either before or immediately after exposure to the virus. Tests show 90 to 95 percent of vaccinations of healthy people result in the development of resistance against hepatitis B. Side effects are usually mild with soreness at the injection site being the most commonly reported. People with allergies to any hepatitis B vaccine ingredients should not receive the vaccine. Check with your health professional for more information."""