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Diseases » Hepatitis B » Contagiousness
 

Is Hepatitis B Contagious?

Transmission of Hepatitis B from Person to Person

Hepatitis B is considered to be contagious between people. Generally the infectious agent may be transmitted by saliva, air, cough, fecal-oral route, surfaces, blood, needles, blood transfusions, sexual contact, mother to fetus, etc.
Hepatitis B, although infectious, is not a genetic disease. It is not caused by a defective or abnormal gene.
The contagious disease, Hepatitis B, can be transmitted:

  • by sexual conduct between people.
  • from person to person by blood.
  • from the mother to her fetus.

Contagion summary:

Spread by blood, sexual fluids, vaginal secretions and bodily fluids. Not spread by casual contact such as handshakes. Has been found in saliva, urine, sweat, tears, and breast milk but transmission is unlikely.

Contagiousness properties for Hepatitis B:


  Contagious overall?: Yes

  Contagious by sex?: Yes

  Contagious by oral sex?: Yes

  Contagious by anal sex?: Yes

  Contagious by vaginal sex?: Yes

  Contagious by physical contact (non-sexual)?: No

  Contagious by handshake?: No

  Contagious from kissing?: Possibly although unlikely, Hep B virus has been found in saliva.

  Contagious from saliva?: Possibly although unlikely, Hep B virus has been found in saliva.

  Contagious from body fluids?: Yes

  Contagious from urine?: Possibly although unlikely, Hep B virus has been found in urine.

  Contagious breastfeeding mother to infant?: Yes, Hep B virus has been found in breast milk.

Contagion summary:

Through contact with infected blood, through sex with an infected person, and from mother to child during childbirth. (Source: excerpt from Viral Hepatitis A to E and Beyond: NIDDK)

About contagion and contagiousness:

Contagion and contagiousness refers to how easily the spread of Hepatitis B is possible from one person to another. Other words for contagion include "infection", "infectiousness", "transmission" or "transmissability". Contagiousness has nothing to do with genetics or inheriting diseases from parents. For an overview of contagion, see Introduction to Contagion.

 

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