Hepatitis B

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What is hepatitis B?

Hepatitis B is a contagious liver disease that results from infection with the hepatitis B virus. Some people get infected with hepatitis B and develop an acute, or short-term, illness, while others develop a chronic, or long-term, illness.

How is hepatitis B spread?

Hepatitis B is usually spread when blood, semen, or another body fluid from a person infected with hepatitis B virus enters the body of someone who is not infected. This can happen through direct contact with the blood or open sores of an infected person; having sex with an infected partner; an infected mother passing it to her baby at birth; or sharing needles, syringes, or other drug-injection equipment.

Can hepatitis B be prevented?

Yes. The best way to prevent hepatitis B is by getting vaccinated. For adults, the hepatitis B vaccine series is usually given as 3 shots during a 6-month period.


Infectious Diseases Statewide