Children's Hospital Colorado

Hepatitis B

What is hepatitis?

In simple terms, the word hepatitis means inflammation of the liver. Many things can cause hepatitis, including viruses (hepatitis A, hepatitis B and hepatitis C), fatty liver disease, and autoimmune and metabolic liver disease.

What is hepatitis B?

Hepatitis B is an infection of the liver from a virus called "hepatitis B." Hepatitis B can lead to a brief infection or a lifelong infection of the liver.

What causes hepatitis B?

Hepatitis B is caused by a virus spread through contact with blood or bodily fluids of an infected person. This includes mother-to-child transmission, needle stick, sharing needles or having unprotected sexual intercourse.

Who gets hepatitis B?

Approximately 43,000 people per year are infected in the United States and 1.25 million people in the U.S. are chronically infected with hepatitis B. All ages and ethnicities are equally susceptible to acquiring the virus.

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