What is Hepatitis B
Hepatitis B is a serious infection that affects the liver caused by the Hepatitis B virus. In 2009 approximately 38,000 people were infected with the virus. 2,000 to 4,000 people die annually due to complications caused by the virus, such as cirrhosis of the liver and liver cancer.
Acute or short term illness caused by Hep B is characterized by joint pain, muscle aches, and gastrointestinal difficulties. Diarrhea, vomiting, jaundice, lethargy and loss of appetite are symptoms of a Hepatitis B infection. Short term illness is more common in adults than in children and children do no normally present symptoms of the disease.
Schedule your Hepatitis B immunization shot in NYC
Chronic or long term infections can develop in some people, and many of those patients do not present symptoms of the disease. However, this can especially dangerous because it can lead to cirrhosis, liver cancer and ultimately death. Chronic Hepatitis B infections are more common in children than in adults. Any chronically infected person is capable of spreading the disease to others, even if they don’t show symptoms of the disease.
It is estimated that one and one half million Americans suffer from a chronic Hepatitis B infection. Don’t wait before the disaster hits – let our New York travel immunization experts prevent it.
How does Hepatitis B spread?
Hep B is a blood born pathogen and can be transmitted through the blood or bodily fluids. It is also possible to catch the disease by coming into contact with an infected object. There are known cases of Hep B infections developing from patients contact with dirty toilet seats, where the pathogen can live up to 7 days.
Fetus’ can become infected by their mothers. It’s also possible to contract the illness by sharing razors, toothbrushes, diabetic supplies, syringes, and by coming into contact with bites, cuts or sores of an infected person.
Travelers to high-risk countries and those with HIV infections are at an increased risk of contracting Hepatitis B. Residents and staff in healthcare facilities and institutions for the developmentally disabled are at an increased risk as well.
Why get a Hep b vaccine?
Getting inoculated for Hepatitis B can prevent the disease from infecting your body. Hep B is potentially fatal and easily transmitted. It is possible to gain lifelong protection against the disease by undergoing a series of vaccination shots. Due to new vaccination protocols introduced in 1982, the incidents of disease in children and teens have dramatically decreased.
Who should get vaccinated?
It is advisable to get a Hepatitis B vaccine when you are 18 years old or younger and have not been vaccinated. Newborns and toddlers should be vaccinated, as should high adults. High risk adults include those with infected sexual partners, anyone who injects “street drugs”, anyone who participates in anal sex, anyone who participates in polygamy or has multiple sexual partners, or anyone with chronic liver disease. Those under 60 years of age with diabetes, or those who are exposed to biological substances in their workplace, kidney dialysis patients, anyone with HIV or anyone who travels to countries with high rates of disease incidences should be inoculated. Anyone over 60 years of age who is advised by their physician to do so should be vaccinated. It is also occasionally recommended that pregnant women may be vaccinated.
Top Rated NYC Physician
Traveling outside of USA and concerned about your health? Travel vaccinations are recommended for many destinations. Find out about the requirements and talk to a physician.