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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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How is hepatitis B virus transmitted?

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Dr. Rovena Murati

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2013

Answered : 1243 Questions

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Posted on Mon, 11 Aug 2014 in Infections
Question: My brother just got diagnosed with chronic hepatitis b. My question is that he was around my then 13 month old in May. How big is the concern that my baby may have contracted it from him? Should she be tested even though she isn't showing signs? I'm very nervous.
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Answered by Dr. Rovena Murati 2 hours later
Brief Answer:
There is no concern about your baby.

Detailed Answer:
Hello!
I read carefully your query and understand your concern.

First you need to know that Hepatitis B virus is a fragile virus that can not survive outside the body .For this reason the transmission of this virus can occur only with interpersonal close contact.
The virus is transmitted through blood and body fluids infected with Hepatitis B virus (HBV).

The ways of transmission of HBV are the same as in HIV transmission and include:
-direct blood-to-blood contact (transfusions and accidental blood contacts including unsterile needles )
-unprotected sex
-from an infected woman to her newborn during the delivery process.

This virus is not transmitted by casual contacts like cough,sneeze, hugs and kisses ,sharing foods etc.

I don't think your baby has been exposed to HBV .As I said it is transmitted only with body fluids exchanges (blood to blood,unprotected sex,mother to baby during delivery).

You don't need to worry about your baby and It is not necessary to test her for HBV.


Hope it was of help.
Let me know if you have any further question or doubt to clarify.I will be happy to help.

Regards!
Dr.Rovena Murati
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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