Hepatitis (HEP-ah-TY-tis) makes your liver swell and stops it from working right. You need a healthy liver. The liver does many things to keep you alive. The liver fights infections and stops bleeding. It removes drugs and other poisons from your blood. The liver also stores energy for when you need it. A virus is a germ that causes sickness. (For example, the flu is caused by a virus.) People can pass viruses to each other. The virus that causes hepatitis B is called the hepatitis B virus. Hepatitis B spreads by contact with an infected person's blood, semen, or other body fluid. You could get hepatitis B by * having sex with an infected person without using a condom * sharing drug needles * having a tattoo or body piercing done with dirty tools that were used on someone else * getting pricked with a needle that has infected blood on it (health care workers can get hepatitis B this way) * living with someone who has hepatitis * sharing a toothbrush or razor with an infected person *traveling to countries where hepatitis B is common An infected woman can give hepatitis B to her baby at birth. You can NOT get hepatitis B by *shaking hands with an infected person *hugging an infected person * sitting next to an infected person Hepatitis B can make you feel like you have the flu. You might * Illustration of a man in bed. * feel tired *feel sick to your stomach * have a fever * not want to eat *have stomach pain * have diarrhea Some people have * dark yellow urine *light-colored stools *yellowish eyes and skin Some people don’t have any symptoms. If you have symptoms or think you might have hepatitis B, go to a doctor.
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