What Causes the Hepatitis B Virus?


Quick Answer

According to Mayo Clinic, hepatitis B is caused by the hepatitis B virus. This virus is transmitted through blood, semen and other bodily fluids. The most common ways hepatitis B is transmitted may include sexual contact, sharing needles, accidental needlesticks and childbirth.

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What Causes the Hepatitis B Virus?
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Full Answer

According to WebMD, symptoms of acute hepatitis B infection may include jaundice, light-colored stool, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, persistent fatigue and abdominal pain. Symptoms appear between one and six months after exposure to the virus. Approximately 30 percent of people infected with hepatitis B do not show typical symptoms. Infected people can usually fight off the infection within a couple of months and develop an immunity. People who are infected with hepatitis B for more than six months are considered carriers. About 1.25 million people in the United States are carriers of the virus as of 2014.

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