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FAQ

What is hepatitis B?

Page last updated 28 April 2020

Hepatitis B (also called hep B) is a virus that infects the liver. The virus can be found in blood and bodily fluids, including semen and vaginal fluid. 

Hepatitis B (also called hep B) is caused by a virus that infects the liver. The virus can be found in blood and bodily fluids, including semen and vaginal fluid. 

As the hepatitis B virus infects the liver, symptoms often include abdominal pain (right side) and dark coloured urine. However, some people will experience no signs or symptoms of infection. 

Most adults will fully recover from a hepatitis B infection; however, if left untreated some will develop a long lasting, chronic infection. 

Most young children do not recover from a hepatitis B infection and will have the disease for the rest of their lives. 

Vaccination is the best way to prevent getting hepatitis B.

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Sources & Citations

2. Australian Government, Department of Health. Australian Immunisation Handbook. Hepatitis B. Available at: immunisationhandbook.health.gov.au/vaccine-preventable-diseases/hepatitis-b (accessed 4 March 2020). 

3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Hepatitis B Questions and Answers for the Public. Available at: www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/hbv/bfaq.htm#symptoms (Accessed 4 March 2020).

SPANZ.SAPAS.18.04.0173(2)a - Date of preparation April 2020

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