What Are the Symptoms of Hepatitis B?

Hepatitis B can be marked by abdominal pain, dark urine, fever, joint pain, loss of appetite, nausea with vomiting, weakness or fatigue and jaundice, or yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes. These symptoms, which can be mild or severe, usually appear anywhere between 1 and 4 months after the infection has occurred.

Hepatitis B is a viral infection that attacks the liver. Chronic hepatitis B can lead to other serious issues, such as liver failure, liver cancer or permanent scarring of the liver, which is called cirrhosis. Most cases are treatable, and those infected with hepatitis B often recover fully. Children are more susceptible to chronic conditions of hepatitis B, but they can be given a vaccination to prevent getting the infection. Once a patient has hepatitis B, although there are treatment options, there is no direct cure, reports Mayo Clinic.

If a patient suspects that he or she may have been exposed to hepatitis B, it is best to seek medical intervention immediately. If a preventative treatment is started within 24 hours of a possible infection, the patient is less likely to become infected and suffer from the more serious symptoms. Also, hepatitis B can be highly contagious. Knowing whether or not a hepatitis B infection has occurred and beginning treatment can help prevent spreading the illness to others.