Hepatitis B chronic carriage is not hepatitis yet.
It is referred to as a person who does not have symptom for hepatitis and is normal for
liver function test but carries hepatitis B virus for more than six months.
- Hepatitis B virus can live in blood, saliva, semen and vaginal discharge and it is spread through blood.
If a mother has hepatitis B, a baby can be infected at birth or shortly after birth.
- Besides, a person can be infected through transfusion, sexual intercourse or contaminated needles.
However, if you don’t have any wound in the mouth and take a large amount of virus, you would not be infected per oral.
Thus, patients with hepatitis B can work in the kitchen to prepare for meals.
- Hepatitis B chronic carriage does not have any symptoms. However, it can develop to chronic hepatitis,
liver cirrhosis or liver cancer.
- When you have chronic hepatitis, you don’t have any symptoms in most cases. However, you may have fatigue,
general weakness, nausea, vomiting, anorexia or weight loss. In addition, you may feel discomfort or
pain in right upper abdomen. You may feel pain or sense of distension due to indigestion or gas in the stomach.
- If it developed to liver cirrhosis, your stomach is full with ascites and your abdomen gets bigger like a water bag or
your body is swelling. You may have bleeding on esophageal tract or stomach.
In most cases, the reason is that varix is formed on esophageal tract or stomach in which blood may be pumped up.
Hematochezia(bloody stool) and melena are important findings to suggest the bleeding on the gastrointestinal tract.
- In the case of liver cirrhosis, jaundice may be formed. It means that white of eyes and skin turn yellow and urine
becomes reddish. In addition, blood clotting factors are not sufficiently produced in liver cells.
Thus, bleeding gums or nosebleeds may happen often.
- Liver cancer happens in less than 1 % of hepatitis B surface antigen carriers without liver cirrhosis in a year.
Liver cancer happens in 2 ~ 3 % of hepatitis B surface antigen carriers with liver cirrhosis in a year.
- Hepatitis B chronic carriage does not require any special treatment. However, management should be continued
and regular examination should be given for prevention and early detection of occurrence of hepatitis,
liver cirrhosis or liver cancer.
- If you have chronic hepatitis, medication treatment should be considered.
- Overwork, alcohol and drugs worsen healthy carriage state into hepatitis.
Chronic carriers should refrain from drugs causing liver disorder or substance which goes through the metabolism.
One typical example is alcohol. Because there are many oriental medicinal herbs or health supplements
which go through metabolism in the liver, you have to be careful.
- For early detection of liver cirrhosis or liver cancer, the regular check-up is required every six months.
Liver function test, liver ultrasound and alpha-fetoprotein(AFP) test are used.
- It has been reported that 1~2% of a hepatitis B carrier can get rid of virus with physical resistant power and
at least 70% of them will enjoy good health without any problems for the entire life time.
- Family members of hepatitis B chronic carriers must take tests for hepatitis B antigen and antibody.
If they don’t have antibody, they should get vaccination immediately. In order to avoid the infection,
some people may want to eat or use the room separately but that is unnecessary.
Hepatitis virus is spread only through body fluids such as blood but it is not spread through physical contact.
- Hepatitis B vaccination which is started within 48 hours after birth can almost completely prevent
hepatitis virus through vertical transmission.
- General public can get the vaccination to prevent hepatitis B.(However, if you are a hepatitis B carrier,
you do not need to get vaccination. Because antibodies are not produced, it is useless.) In addition,
do not share razors, toothbrushes and nail clippers. Do not give chewed food to children.
It is not recommended to get tattoo or acupuncture without caution.