Signs and Symptoms of Hepatitis B
Signs and symptoms of hepatitis B are often not immediately felt and some even do not appear as long as the person’s immune system is battling the virus. That’s why many people do not realize that they have been infected. Transmission can still occur as long as the virus is still present in the patient’s body.
If there are any symptoms, the incubation period of hepatitis B ranges from two to five months after exposure to the virus. Incubation is the distance of time between the entry of the virus into the body until the appearance of symptoms. These symptoms will usually disappear within 30-90 days.
Included in the signs and symptoms of hepatitis B include:
- Loss of appetite
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Weight loss.
- Flu-like symptoms such as fatigue, body aches, headache, and high fever (about 38ºC or more).
- Abdominal pain.
- Limp and tired.
- Jaundice (skin and whites of yellowing eyes).
The cause of the onset of jaundice is bilirubin (a compound of red blood cell waste) that can not be eliminated by the damaged liver. This compound can also change the color of the urine to a dark yellow and the color of the stool becomes pale.
Long-term Hepatitis B (Chronic)
Chronic hepatitis B occurs when the virus stays in the body for more than six months. Symptoms tend to be lighter and not constant. Most people with this disease do not experience significant symptoms.
But patients should remain cautious because chronic hepatitis B patients, especially those not undergoing treatment, may experience serious complications. For example cirrhosis or liver inflammation.
If you find unusual symptoms that last for days or you feel you have been exposed to hepatitis B virus, consult your doctor.
Hepatitis B infection can be prevented by treatment. But keep in mind that this treatment is only effective if done within 48 hours after exposure. However, this process can sometimes be effective for up to a week.