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Conditions We Treat: Viral Hepatitis B

Viral hepatitis refers to infections caused by viruses that affect the liver. Viral hepatitis includes five distinct diseases, caused by five different viruses. The different viruses are called by a letter name:

Hepatitis B: What You Need to Know

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  • Chronic hepatitis B virus is the ninth leading cause of death.
  • Patients with hepatitis B need to be monitored regularly, because there is a higher risk for other health complications.
  • There is no cure for chronic hepatitis B; patients take medications to suppress the virus and prevent complications.
  • There are a number of ways to prevent hepatitis B, including following the standard immunization schedule.

Worldwide, there are approximately 300 million carriers of hepatitis B. Hepatitis B is transmitted by direct exposure to infected blood or bodily fluids. Infants may also develop the disease if their mother has the virus. Patients with chronic hepatitis B infection are at high risk for serious health complications, including hepatocellular carcinoma (liver cancer) or cirrhosis (severe liver damage).

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Why choose Johns Hopkins Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology for viral hepatitis?