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Hepatitis B

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Hepatitis B can cause contagious liver disease.

In some people, hepatitis B can lead to a serious, lifelong illness that may be life threatening.

How does someone get hepatitis B?

Hepatitis B spreads when blood, semen or other bodily fluids from a person with hepatitis B virus enters the body of an uninfected person. This can happen from:

  • Birth (from mother to baby).
  • Sex with a person that has hepatitis B.
  • Sharing needles, syringes or other drug-injection supplies.
  • Sharing razors or toothbrushes with an infected person.
  • Direct contact with blood or open sores of an infected person.
  • Exposure to blood from a needle stick or other sharp object.

People born in Asia, Africa and other regions with higher rates of hepatitis B should be tested. 

Hepatitis B is preventable.

Hepatitis B vaccines are safe and effective. Talk to your doctor or visit the immunizations page to learn about free vaccine resources.

People who are at high risk for hepatitis A or B may be eligible for free immunizations at Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department.

Call our hepatitis program at (253) 798-6410.