Hepatitis B is a serious liver infection that is manageable when caught in the first six months. It can be contracted through sexual activities, infected blood or sharing needles. Approximately 70% of cases are symptomless, so get tested if you may have been exposed.Put Your Mind at Ease Today
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Getting tested for hepatitis B is the only way to know if someone is infected with the virus. Our doctors recommend the hepatitis B Surface Antigen with Confirmation by Neutralization Assay test. This test searches your blood for the hepatitis B antigen and can differentiate between acute (new) and chronic (long- term) infections. Also, the test can detect if you have been vaccinated and are, therefore, immune to the hepatitis B virus.
In acute hepatitis B cases, symptoms usually appear 3 months after exposure to the virus, but can delay as much as 6 weeks to 6 months post-exposure. If you show symptoms to the hepatitis B virus or are concerned about a recent exposure, taking a blood test is the best way to know if you are infected. Although hepatitis B can be detected as early as 3 weeks after exposure, our doctors recommend waiting 6 weeks to get tested.
Acute hepatitis B symptoms can mimic flu-like symptoms that may show up anytime from 6 weeks to 6 months after exposure. Symptoms include unusual feelings of tiredness, lack of hunger, vomiting, stomach aches, fever and joint pain. Additional hepatitis B symptoms can include clay-colored bowel movements or yellowing of the skin or eyes (jaundice).
Medically Reviewed by J. Frank Martin JR., MD on Jun 18, 2019
Written by Lauren Crain on Aug 8, 2017