- Hepatitis B is a viral infection that attacks the liver and can cause both acute and chronic disease.
- The virus is transmitted through contact with the blood or other body fluids of an infected person.
- An estimated 240 million people are chronically infected with hepatitis B (defined as hepatitis B surface antigen positive for at least 6 months).
- More than 686,000 people die every year due to complications of hepatitis B, including cirrhosis and liver cancer 1.
- Hepatitis B is an important occupational hazard for health workers.
- It can be prevented by a currently available, safe and effective vaccine.
Hepatitis B is a potentially life-threatening liver infection; it is a major global health problem; it can cause chronic infection and puts people at high risk of death from cirrhosis and liver cancer.