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What is Hepatitis B disease?

Hepatitis B is caused by a virus that can permanently damage the liver. It's the biggest cause of liver cancer worldwide. The Hepatitis B virus is spread through contact with the blood and body fluids from an infected person.  You can't get hepatitis B from someone coughing, or from hugging or using the same dishes.

What are the symptoms of Hepatitis B disease?

Symptoms can vary from none at all, to severe. A person can have the virus and not even know it. Or, can experience fatigue, fever, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, and sometimes jaundice (yellow skin and eyes).

There is no cure for Hepatitis B. Most people get well, but about 10% will carry the virus for life.

How can Hepatitis B disease be prevented?
  • Avoid sharing items like needles, razors, toothbrushes, or having body/ear piercing/tattooing with dirty (unsterilized) equipment
  • Get immunized! All Grade 7 students in Ontario are eligible for two doses (free) of the Hepatitis B vaccine
  • This vaccine may be given at the same time as the Meningococcal vaccine.