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MLT_GIB/OTH/0007/17m
Date of preparation: March 2018

How long do associated symptoms last?  

Most people infected with the virus do not develop a clinically recognised illness, although the symptoms vary depending on the severity of disease and the immune system of the individual infected. 12However, 80–90% of infants infected during the first year of life develop chronic infections. 1

Short-term symptoms (acute) can last several weeks and can include: 1

  • Yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice)
  • Dark-coloured urine
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain

If the disease becomes life-long, symptoms can also include: 1

  • Cirrhosis of the liver
  • Liver cancer

How do Hepatitis B complications arise?

For a small proportion of people, acute infections with hepatitis B can be severe and lead to death. 3The most serious complications of the viral infection, including chronic hepatitis, cirrhosis, liver failure, and liver cancer, occur in people with chronic infection. 3

80–90% of infants infected during the first year of life develop chronic infections. 3

Reference:

  1. WHO. Hepatitis B fact sheet. 2015. Available at: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs204/en/. Last accessed June 2015.
  2. WHO. Global Alert and Response (GAR): Hepatitis B index 3. 2015. Available from: http://www.who.int/csr/disease/hepatitis/whocdscsrlyo20022/en/index3.html. Last accessed June 2015.
  3. WHO. Hepatitis B - The disease. 2014. Available at: www.who.int/immunization/topics/hepatitis_b/en/index1.html. Last accessed June 2015.

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