Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B: A Serious Infectious Disease

Hepatitis B, also known as viral hepatitis, is a highly contagious disease that can manifest as acute or chronic, affecting the liver due to a specific virus. This article explores the severity, spread, classification, symptoms, causes, transmission methods, and implications of Hepatitis B infection.

General Information:
Hepatitis B is caused by a virus containing genetic material, transmitted through biological fluids like blood and semen. The virus can have nine known patterns and actively replicates in liver cells upon entry, causing harmful changes in tissues. The infection can present with various symptoms or remain asymptomatic.

Severity and Spread:
Hepatitis B poses a significant threat globally, with over one and a half million people infected worldwide in 2019. Higher prevalence is observed in regions such as African countries and the Eastern Mediterranean.

Classification and Symptoms:
The disease is categorized into acute and chronic forms, with acute cases exhibiting clear symptoms such as jaundice, while symptoms in chronic cases are milder. Complications range from complete recovery to serious outcomes.

Causes and Transmission Methods:
Primary causes of transmission include perinatal transmission, blood transfusion, unprotected sexual contact, unclean injections, and, in some cases, household contact.

Symptoms of Hepatitis B:

Symptoms include joint pain, skin rash, increased nervousness, loss of appetite, fatigue, digestive disorders, darkening of urine, lightening of stool, and various discomforts during the jaundice phase.

Untreated or improperly treated cases may lead to liver cirrhosis, hepatic encephalopathy, hepatic coma, blood poisoning, acute liver failure, blood infections, and liver tumors.

Chronic Hepatitis B:
Signs of chronic Hepatitis B include continuous pain in the lower right abdomen, ongoing liver enlargement, nausea, heaviness in the abdomen after consuming certain foods, and pale skin.

Diagnosis of Hepatitis B

Diagnosing Hepatitis B involves identifying the type and cause of the infection, evaluating symptoms, and assessing the patient’s overall condition. Initially, a liver specialist conducts a physical examination, including examining the skin and mucous membranes, palpating the liver, and gathering medical history information.

Subsequently, a diagnostic regimen may be prescribed, which may include:

  • Complete blood cell count and urine analysis.
  • Biochemical blood tests for indicators such as albumin, bilirubin, and liver enzymes.
  • Abdominal ultrasound examination.
  • Liver biopsy.
  • PCR or ELISA testing.

In cases of accompanying diseases or chronic systemic diseases, different specialized practitioners may be involved in the diagnosis, and additional tests may be required.

Treatment of Hepatitis B

The therapeutic plan for acute and chronic Hepatitis B aims to eradicate the infection, restore liver function, alleviate symptoms, and prevent disease progression. For acute cases, treatment may include:

  • Bed rest.
  • Dietary modifications tailored to the patient’s needs.
  • Adequate fluid intake.
  • Avoiding exacerbating factors such as smoking, alcohol consumption, and certain medications.

Antiviral therapy is rarely used for mild or moderate forms of Hepatitis B. In severe cases or chronic forms, patients may need to take specialized subcutaneous medications based on interferon. Surgical intervention may be necessary in some cases when complications such as fluid accumulation in the abdominal cavity or gastrointestinal bleeding occur.


Vaccination is the primary method to prevent the spread of Hepatitis B, providing sustained immunity for at least 15 years. Other preventive measures include:

  • Adhering to health protocols during medical procedures and blood transfusion.
  • Practicing safe sex.
  • Using only clean personal tools.
  • Avoiding drug use.

Disseminating necessary information to students in schools plays a vital role in prevention.


The prognosis for Hepatitis B depends on the form, severity, treatment, and individual characteristics of the patient’s body. In cases of acute liver damage, the prognosis is generally favorable, except in severe or rapidly evolving cases or when Hepatitis B is diagnosed with other forms such as types C, D, and E. For the chronic form of the disease, only the treating physician can provide prognoses.

Hepatitis B presents a serious public health concern due to its widespread transmission and potential for severe complications. Early detection, proper treatment, and adherence to medical advice are crucial in managing the disease and preventing long-term consequences.