Hepatitis B (Hep-Ah-Ty-Tiss)


About Hepatitis B (Hep-Ah-Ty-Tiss)

What is Hepatitis B?

Hepatitis B is a liver disease caused by the Hepatitis B virus (HBV). It ranges in severity from a mild illness, lasting a few weeks (acute), to a serious long-term illness (chronic) that can lead to liver disease or liver cancer.

How is Hepatitis B transmitted?

Contact with infectious blood, semen, and other body fluids from having sex with an infected person, sharing contaminated needles to inject drugs, sharing items such as razors or toothbrushes with an infected person or from an infected mother to her newborn.

Why should I take the Hepatitis B vaccination?

Chronic Hepatitis B is a serious disease that can result in long-term health problems, including liver damage, liver failure, liver cancer, or even death. So it is advisable to take the vaccine.

Presently, there is no known cure for Hepatitis B. Hence the best way to prevent Hepatitis B is by getting the Hepatitis B vaccine. Presently, Hepatitis B vaccination is given to all children born in Singapore.

Points to Note:

Laboratory diagnostic tests are not perfect and are not 100% accurate

  • We do not have a test for every disease or virus but most of those pathogens that are of public health importance or have long term implications on your health can be tested
  • No one single test can be used with absolute certainty to diagnose a disease. Often, we depend on a combination of tests to make a diagnosis
  • Sometimes, we have to resort to trial treatment or empiric treatment if investigative tests are inconclusive. If the patient makes a therapeutic response and feels better, we have achieved our goal
  • In PUO, we are looking for treatable causes and to rule out sinister causes eg. malignancies so that we do not miss opportunities for early treatment or intervention

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