您可能对乙肝特别有兴趣。或者,您可能认识刚被诊断为乙肝的人。这些乙肝常见问题(FAQ)都可以帮您更深的认识乙肝。请向下滚动,阅读我们准备的15个答案。

您也可以参考我们甲、乙、丙肝的比拟,以认识这三种疾病之间的相差。

新州肝炎协会推荐的当地家庭医生 >>

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What is hepatitis B?

Hep B is a viral infection that affects the liver. Most adults recover from the infection. Most babies develop life-long infection (called chronic hep B). With life-long infection, chronic hep B can lead to serious liver problems. Talk to a doctor or the Hepatitis Infoline for more information. 1800 803 990 >>

How is hepatitis B transmitted?

Hep B is transmitted when blood or other body fluids gets into someone else’s bloodstream. It mainly occurs from mother to baby before or during birth (called vertical transmission). Hep B transmission can be prevented if everyone at risk is vaccinated. Talk to a doctor or the Hepatitis Infoline for more information. 1800 803 990 >>

If I’ve had hepatitis B and cleared it, can I get it again?

No. If your body has naturally fought off (cleared) hep B, then you will be immune for life. This means you cannot get it again and you cannot pass it on. Talk to a doctor or the Hepatitis Infoline for more information. 1800 803 990 >>

I think I’ve been exposed to hepatitis B – what could happen?

Ninety out of 100 adults exposed to hep B clear the virus within six months. These people will then be immune to hep B (they won’t get hep B again).

A further 5 out of 100 adults exposed to hep B will clear the virus within 12 months. These people will then be immune to hep B (they won’t get hep B again).

It’s only the remaining 5 out of 100 adults who would have chronic hep B. Did you know that there is very effective treatment to help manage their hep B?

Talk to a doctor or the Hepatitis Infoline for more information. 1800 803 990 >>

I think I’ve been exposed to hepatitis B – what can I do?

If you have been previously vaccinated against hep B, your prior vaccination will protect you. But if you think you have recently contracted hep B and have not been previously vaccinated, you can try to prevent the virus from taking hold by having a treatment of hepatitis B Immunoglobulin and the hep B vaccination within 72 hours of being exposed. You can get these from your doctor, a sexual health clinic or a hospital. Talk to a doctor or the Hepatitis Infoline for more information. 1800 803 990 >>

I don’t know if I’ve been vaccinated for hepatitis B – how can I find out?

If you were born in Australia after 2000, you’ve probably been vaccinated for hep B. Also, if you were in year 7 in Australia in 2004 or have started high-school since then, you’ve probably been vaccinated for hep B. Otherwise, to find out if you’ve been vaccinated for hep B ask your doctor or sexual health clinic to test your immunity to hep B.

For more information, click here to see our hep B testing chart >>

Talk to a doctor or the Hepatitis Infoline for more information. 1800 803 990 >>

What are the signs and symptoms of hepatitis B?

People who catch hep B might have symptoms within the first six-months. These include:

  • fatigue
  • weight loss
  • feeling like you have a flu
  • dark urine
  • jaundice

Those people who have hep B longer than 6-months (called chronic hep B) don’t have any symptoms. If they do have symptoms, they include:

  • tiredness, depression and irritability
  • pain in the liver (upper, right side of abdomen)
  • nausea and vomiting
  • loss of appetite
  • joint aches and pains

Click here for more information on hep B and hep C symptoms >>

For more information, talk to a doctor or call the Hepatitis Infoline 1800 803 990 >>

I’m living with chronic hepatitis B – what should I do?

The best approach is to visit a doctor every 12 months to have a liver check-up. This will probably include a Liver Function Test and a hep B DNA test to check your viral load. Talk to a doctor or the Hepatitis Infoline for more information. 1800 803 990 >>

I have chronic hepatitis B – do I need treatment?

Not everyone with hep B needs treatment. The treatments for hep B aim to stop the virus being active and multiplying in the liver. Treatment aims to decrease the amount of the virus in your blood (called “viral load”) so that your immune system can make the virus inactive. Talk to a doctor or the Hepatitis Infoline for more information. 1800 803 990 >>

How is hepatitis transmitted – how do I avoid passing it on?

To avoid passing on hep B the most important thing you can do is make sure that your family members and sexual partners have the hep B vaccination. Some of the following suggestions might be useful:

  • practice safer sex by using protection during sex
  • avoid sharing your personal-care items such as razors, toothbrushes, nail-clippers or anything that might come into contact with blood
  • avoid blood-blood contact.

Talk to a doctor or the Hepatitis Infoline for more information. 1800 803 990 >>

I have hepatitis B and I’m pregnant – will my baby have hepatitis B?

To give your child the best chance at avoiding hep B your baby needs to be given two injections within the first 12 hours after they’re born. One is hepatitis B immunoglobulin (HBIG) and the other is the first dose of the hep B vaccine.

If the baby is given both injections (and proper follow up vaccine boosters) the risk of hep B being passed on from mother to child is extremely low. If you are pregnant and have hep B, you will have special hep B testing. You may be offered additional medicine during pregnancy to lower any the risk of passing on the infection to the baby.

Talk to a doctor or the Hepatitis Infoline for more information. 1800 803 990 >>

I have hepatitis B – can I breastfeed?

If your baby is given hep B immunoglobulin and hep B vaccination within 12 hours of birth, there is no need to avoid breastfeeding. This is good news as breastfeeding is highly recommended as it is the best source of nutrients for your baby. Talk to a doctor or the Hepatitis Infoline for more information. 1800 803 990 >>

Should I be vaccinated for hepatitis B?

Consider being vaccinated for hep B if you are:

  • a person who injects drugs
  • a man who has sex with men
  • have sex with someone with hepatitis B
  • in household contact with someone who has hepatitis B
  • on haemodialysis
  • someone with HIV or impaired immunity
  • have some other type of liver disease
  • someone with a clotting disorder
  • waiting for a liver transplant
  • traveling to countries where hepatitis B is endemic
  • adopting children from overseas who have hepatitis B
  • going to be in prison

Consider being vaccinated for hep B if you work as:

  • a sex worker
  • a staff-member in a facility for people with intellectual disabilities
  • a juvenile justice or prison worker
  • a healthcare worker, ambulance personnel, dentist, embalmer, tattooist or body-piercer
  • a police officer, member of the armed forces or emergency services worker
  • a funeral worker (or other worker who has regular contact with human tissue, blood or body fluids and/or uses needles or syringes).

Talk to a doctor or the Hepatitis Infoline for more information. 1800 803 990 >>

I have chronic hepatitis B – what can I do to look after my health?

Ask your doctor for regular liver tests (about every 12 months) even if you feel well. Talk to your doctor before taking any herbal or complementary medicines as some are harmful to the liver. Get some regular exercise and eat fresh fruit and vegetables every day – a healthy body weight will help keep your liver healthy too. Talk to a doctor or the Hepatitis Infoline for more information. 1800 803 990 >>

I have chronic hepatitis B, is there anywhere I can’t work?

If you’re living with hep B you can work most places, including childcare and healthcare. There may be restrictions about the kinds of healthcare you can perform – depending on your viral status, you can’t perform “exposure-prone procedures”.

If you are asked to disclose that you have hep B on a job application you don’t have to answer unless you are:

  • applying to join the army, navy or air-force
  • applying for a job in which you would be performing exposure-prone surgical procedures (putting your hands inside people’s bodies where you cannot see your hands – internal surgery).
  • if you are applying for a position with NSW Health you will be asked to provide proof that you have been vaccinated against hep B. You may also need to provide evidence that you know of your hep B viral status with your application.

Talk to a doctor or the Hepatitis Infoline for more information. 1800 803 990 >>

Hep ABC comparison information

ABC - what are they?

Hep A is a liver infection (caused by hep A virus) that makes people sick but only for 1-3 weeks.

Hep B is a liver infection (caused by hep B virus). Most adults who get hep B clear their infection. Most children who get hep B develop hep B for life and have risk of liver disease later in life.

Hep C is an easily-cured liver infection (caused by hep C virus).

ABC - window periods

With hep A, it takes 2-4 weeks after catching the virus before it shows up in blood tests (but tests are usually not done due to the short nature of illness).

With hep B, it takes 4-6 weeks (HBsAg test)

With hep C, for adults it takes 2 weeks after catching the virus before it shows up in blood tests (PCR test). For babies, it takes 8 weeks (PCR test).

ABC - how are they transmitted?

Hep A – food or water contaminated with sewerage / anything with human poo on it that comes in contact with the mouth.

Hep B – mother to baby / blood or other body fluids of someone with hep B getting into another person’s bloodstream / sexual contact.

Hep C – blood of someone with hep C getting into another person’s bloodstream / mother to baby.

ABC - what are the symptoms?

Hep A – Feeling unwell, aches and pains, fever, nausea, lack of appetite, abdominal pain, dark urine / followed by jaundice (yellowing of eyes and sometimes skin) / young children usually have no symptoms.

Hep B – Often no symptoms, but if they do appear, they include jaundice (see above), dark urine, fatigue, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, nausea, and joint pain.

Hep C – Often no symptoms, but if they do appear, they are like having a mild flu / a small number of people may have hep B-like symptoms (see above).

ABC - treatments

Hep A – Rest and keeping up fluids, but no treatment needed / some people use complementary therapies to manage their symptoms but care must be taken as some therapies may cause liver damage (e.g. herbals).

Hep B – Good treatments are available for all adults who hold Medicare cards / treatment aims to prevent liver damage but is not an actual cure / not everyone will need treatment and there are short- or long-term options / phone the Hepatitis Infoline for more information 1800 803 990 >>

Hep C – Very good treatments are available for all adults who hold Medicare cards / these treatments give high cure rates for all hep C genotypes / patients can speak to a GP or specialist, or for more info about treatment options, phone the Hepatitis Infoline 1800 803 990 >>

ABC - are there vaccines?

Hep A – Yes, there is a vaccine and it is safe and effective.

Hep B – Yes, the hep B vaccine is safe and effective, and is part of Australia’s national immunisation program.

Hep C – No, there is no vaccine but scientists are trying hard to develop one.

ABC - how are they prevented?

Hep A – Get vaccinated / household contacts and sexual partners of someone with hep A should be given immunoglobulin (drug that gives short-term protection) / wash hands after going to the toilet and before eating / practice safer sex.

Hep B – Get vaccinated / newborn babies should be given an injection of immunoglobulin within 12 hours of birth / don’t share fits or other equipment when injecting drugs / avoid blood-to-blood contact / practice safer sex.

Hep C – Do not share fits or other equipment when injecting drugs / avoid other blood-to-blood contact / avoid backyard tattooists and piercers / use shops that follow proper sterile procedures / avoid needle stick injuries.

For more information, click here to see our Detailed hep B information page >>

Or phone the Hepatitis Infoline, or speak to your doctor

This page last updated 11 May 2018

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