Hepatitis B is a contagious liver disease caused by the Hepatitis B virus. When a person is first infected with the virus, he or she can develop an acute infection. This infection can range from a very mild illness with few or no symptoms to a serious condition requiring hospitalization. For others, the infection remains and is chronic or lifelong. Over time, the infection can cause serious health problems, and even liver cancer.
Infants and young children usually show no symptoms. In adults, Hepatitis B infection causes loss of appetite, fever, tiredness, pain in muscles, joints, and stomach, nausea, diarrhoea, vomiting and dark urine. These symptoms usually appear 3 or 4 months after a person gets the virus.
Hepatitis B can be very serious. Most people with a recent hepatitis B infection may feel sick for a few weeks to several months. Some people get over the illness. For other people, the virus infection remains active in their bodies for the rest of their life. Although people with lifelong hepatitis B usually don’t have symptoms, the virus causes liver damage over time and could lead to liver cancer. There is no cure for hepatitis B, but treatment can help prevent serious problems.
Hepatitis B shot protects children and adults against hepatitis B, a potentially serious disease. It also protects other people from the disease because individuals with hepatitis B usually don’t have symptoms, but they may pass the disease to others without anyone knowing they were infected.
The Indian Academy of Pediatrics (IAP) & Indian Medical Association (IMA) strongly recommend children & adults receive all vaccines according to the recommended Vaccination schedule.