Incubation period, treatment and screening
When a person contracts a virus, it may take some time before it shows up on a test or before signs and symptoms appear. Experts call this the incubation period. Hepatitis B symptoms can take 60 to 150 days to develop, and a test can detect the virus 1 to 9 weeks after exposure.
The hepatitis B virus (HBV) causes inflammation of the liver. It can be acute or chronic.
Transmission of HBV occurs through bodily fluids.
When someone who has not been vaccinated against hepatitis B comes into contact with HBV, it will take some time before they show symptoms or signs of infection.
This article discusses the incubation period of hepatitis B and how transmission of the virus occurs.
Not everyone who develops hepatitis B has symptoms. However, according to the CDC, if symptoms appear, they can start on average
Although 3 months is the average, symptoms can appear anytime between 2 and 5 months after exposure.
A doctor will usually order several tests to check for HBV and its antigens. The presence of a surface antigen called HBs-AG in a person’s blood indicates a new, ongoing infection.
A test can detect it
The WHO says it can take
The CDC says that in half of the cases where symptoms develop, the virus will no longer be able to be transmitted to others within
A person who does not develop chronic hepatitis B will test negative for HBsAG 15 weeks after the onset of symptoms.
In people who develop chronic hepatitis B, the virus can still to pass on to others.
How is the virus transmitted?
The virus is not usually spread by casual contact with someone who has hepatitis B. The virus is spread when infected blood, semen or other bodily fluids enter the body of a person who does not have hepatitis B. don’t have the virus.
This normally happens via:
- sexual activity
- sharing needles or syringes
- contact with open wounds or wounds of a person infected with the virus
- sharing items such as toothbrushes or razors
- accidental needlestick injury
The virus can live on surfaces for at least
Many people with hepatitis B may not realize they have it because they may not have any symptoms.
The severity and duration of symptoms may vary in those without symptoms. They will also vary between acute hepatitis B infections and chronic hepatitis B infections.
Common symptoms of acute hepatitis B include:
Acute symptoms of hepatitis B usually last several weeks, but some people may have symptoms for as long as
If a person thinks they have been in contact with hepatitis B, they should be tested, even if no symptoms are present.
To get tested, a person can go to a doctor’s office, community health clinic, or local health center for planned parenthood.
There is no cure for hepatitis B. However, according to Planned Parenthood, the infection usually clears without treatment in 1 to 2 months.
If symptoms are present, a person should make sure they are resting, receiving adequate nutrition, and drinking plenty of fluids. If the symptoms are more severe, the person may require a visit to the hospital.
Planned Parenthood indicates that approximately 1 in 20 adults develop chronic hepatitis B. Some people with chronic hepatitis B will receive treatment, but not everyone will need treatment.
No treatment cures chronic hepatitis, so a person may need treatment indefinitely. Treatments usually include antiviral medications.
In people with cirrhosis or hepatitis B-related liver cancer, a doctor
If a person is diagnosed with chronic hepatitis B, they should:
They should also consult a healthcare professional before taking any medications or supplements, to ensure that they will not harm the liver.
Anyone who suspects they have come into contact with HBV should seek medical attention as soon as possible.
A doctor can provide post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) with vaccines and a medicine called hepatitis B immunoglobulin. PEP can prevent infections and liver damage.
A person should also contact a doctor if they notice any of the symptoms of hepatitis B or if they know they have hepatitis B and their symptoms are getting worse.
Hepatitis B is a viral infection that affects the liver.
A test can detect the virus 1 to 9 weeks after exposure.
Anyone who has come into contact with hepatitis B should seek medical advice as soon as possible.