Hepatitis B, an infection caused by a virus,targets the liver. Hepatitis B can cause cirrhosis,liver cancer, liver failure, and death. The virus is
transferred from person to person in bodily fluids,such as blood. Hepatitis B can be spread in many different ways, including a bite from an infected
person, acupuncture, an accidental needle stick, burns, and scratches. More commonly, you can get hepatitis B by having unprotected sex with an
infected person, sharing needles, or getting a tattoo or body piercing. An infected mother may pass the infection to her child during birth. Children infected early in life are especially susceptible to chronic hepatitis B (lifelong infection).
Most adults recover fully from hepatitis B infections; however, complications, including lifelong infection, are possible. The risk of lifelong infection is much higher in children and infants.
Complications of lifelong infection include chronic hepatitis, cirrhosis (a type of liver disease), liver failure, and liver cancer. About 1 in 4 children who develop chronic hepatitis B infection will likely die of liver disease in adulthood.