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Hepatitis B Symptoms

Hepatitis B is called a "silent infection" because most people do not have any symptoms when they are first infected. Thus, they can unknowingly pass the virus to others and continue the silent spread of hepatitis B. Testing is the only way to know for sure if you are infected.

  • Most healthy adults do not experience any symptoms when they are first infected with the hepatitis B virus
  • Some people who are infected will have symptoms and seek medical attention, but many will think they just have the flu and ignore the symptoms
  • About 1 percent of those infected will develop a life-threatening condition called  "fulminant hepatitis," which can be fatal and result in liver failure and death. Although this response is rare, fulminant hepatitis develops suddenly and requires immediate medical attention.

Common symptoms of hepatitis B infection

  • joint pain Fever, fatigue, muscle or joint pain
  • utensils 2 Loss of appetite
  • vomit Mild nausea and vomiting
  • ab pain Stomach pain
  • stool Pale or light colored stools
  • dark urine Dark, tea colored urine

Serious symptoms that require immediate medical attention

  • nausea Severe nausea and vomiting
  • jaundice Yellow eyes and skin (called "jaundice")
  • ab bloat2 Bloated or swollen stomach 

It is always a good idea to talk to your health care provider or seek medical attention if you don't feel well or if you are uncertain about whether you have been infected with hepatitis B
. A simple hepatitis B blood test can easily diagnose whether or not you have an infection.