Acute cases of hepatitis B often resolve on their own, but individuals with chronic hepatitis B may require treatments with antiviral medications and interferon injections to slow down the virus and prevent its spread, explains Mayo Clinic. In certain cases, liver transplant surgery may be needed.
Individuals who have not received the hepatitis B vaccine and believe they may have come in contact with the virus should consult with a physician as soon as possible to receive an injection of hepatitis B immunoglobin, followed by the three initial injections of the hepatitis B vaccine, explains WebMD. Individuals should seek treatment within seven days following needle sticks and within two weeks following sexual contact.
Approximately 69 percent of individuals who are infected with hepatitis B do not exhibit symptoms and can unknowingly spread the virus to non-infected people, explains Hepatitis B Foundation. When symptoms do appear, infected individuals may only experience mild stomach discomfort, loss of appetite, fever and tiredness that can often be mistaken for the flu. Severe hepatitis symptoms include yellowed eyes and skin, abdominal distension and vomiting. In rare cases, individuals infected with the virus may develop fulminant hepatitis, a severe form of the illness that can cause liver failure and death if not treated.