Hepatitis B can be transferred from mother to baby during childbirth or breastfeeding, often resulting in a chronic infection.
What many people do not realise is that it is relatively easy to contract the hepatitis B virus, unlike viruses such as HIV.
Simply sharing a toothbrush or having small cuts on your hand and touching a doorknob with a trace amount of blood from someone with hepatitis B is enough to contract the infection.
People who become infected with the hepatitis B virus are often not ill when they acquired it and may otherwise be unaware of the infection until it does substantial damage.
If you have a family history of people who had liver disease, get tested for the disease. The consistent use of condoms can greatly reduce your risk.
If you have hepatitis B, you should advise your partner so that he or she can get vaccinated. Cut down on your number of sex partners. Limit processed foods and red meats. If you are a smoker, now is the time to quit. Don’t share injection needles and syringes.