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Hepatitis B Surface Antigen

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Hepatitis means inflammation of the liver. Toxins, certain drugs, some diseases, heavy alcohol use, and bacterial and viral infections can all cause hepatitis. Hepatitis is also the name of a family of viral infections that affect the liver; the most common types in the United States are hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C.

Hepatitis B is a contagious disease that can range in severity from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a serious, lifelong illness. Hepatitis B is typically spread when semen, blood, or other body fluids from an infected person enters the body of someone who is not infected. Hepatitis B infection can occur through sexual contact or sharing needles / syringes. The Hepatitis B infection can also be passed from mother to her baby at birth.

Approximately one third of the world's population, more than 2 billion people, has the hepatitis B infection, including 350 million chronic carriers of the virus. The best way to prevent hepatitis B is by getting vaccinated.