Hepatitis Program
Infectious Disease Investigation
614.645.1475 opt 2.

Hepatitis C Linkage to Care Program


Perinatal Hepatitis B Prevention Program


Alcohol and Drug Early Intervention Services (EIS)
Community based Hep C, HIV, and STI testing



Infectious Disease Reporting System (IDRS)

IDRS is a 24-hour reporting phone line for health care practitioners and laboratories only.  

Hepatitis B Information


What is Hepatitis B?

Hepatitis B (HBV) is a viral disease that affects the liver and can cause liver disease. 

Hepatitis B can be acute or chronic. Acute hepatitis B means that the person recently was infected with the hepatitis B virus.  The incubation period for hepatitis B is 6 weeks to 6 months.  During this time (first 6 months after infection) most persons have no symptoms or might experience a mild illness.  If the hepatitis B test is still positive after 6 months, the person will have chronic hepatitis B.  If a person has chronic hepatitis B, they will have it for the rest of their lives.  If a person is infected with hepatitis B virus as an adult, 95% of the people will get better, their hepatitis B will go away on its own.  If an infant is infected with hepatitis B virus, 90% of the infants will have hepatitis B for the rest of their lives.   Without appropriate medical management, 25% of chronically infected people will die from a liver related disease (Cirrhosis or Liver Cancer). 

What are the symptoms of Hepatitis B?

There may be no symptoms or you may have:

  • Jaundice (yellowing of the eyes or skin)
  • Fatigue (feeling tired)
  • Muscle aches
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea/vomiting

How could I get infected with Hepatitis B?

Hepatitis B virus is found in the blood and other body fluids including semen and vaginal fluids.

Some ways of getting infected with Hepatitis B include:

  • Having sex with a person infected with Hepatitis B virus
  • From mother to child at birth
  • Sharing needles or syringes to inject drugs or other drug supplies
  • Getting a non-professional tattoo or body piercing (like at someone’s home or outdoor space)
  • Sharing personal care supplies like razors or toothbrushes that may have a small amount of blood on them

Who should be tested for Hepatitis B?

  • All pregnant women
  • Infants born to HBV positive mothers
  • Household contacts and sex partners of people with HBV
  • Persons infected with HIV
  • People born in countries with high rates of Hepatitis B (Asia and Africa)
  • People who inject drugs
  • Men who have sex with men

Is there a vaccine for Hepatitis B?

Yes, there is a vaccine available for Hepatitis B.  It is a 3 dose series, all must be completed to be protected from hepatitis B.

The Hepatitis B vaccine is recommended for all infants within 24 hours of  birth, 1-2 months  and 6 months of age and for adolescents and  adults who are at risk for Hepatitis B.

It is recommended that household partners and sexual contacts of people with Hepatitis B be tested for hepatitis B.  If the test is negative, they should be  vaccinated for Hepatitis B. This vaccine can help protect them from becoming infected with Hepatitis B.

The Hepatitis B vaccine is also highly recommended for anyone who has been diagnosed with Hepatitis C and has not already been infected with Hepatitis B.

Is there a treatment for Hepatitis B?

People with chronic Hepatitis B should see a specialist at least yearly to monitor the health of their liver. Some patients may need to be on medications to help reduce the amount of Hepatitis B virus in the blood but these medications are not recommended for all patients.  Your doctor will advise you if you need the medication.

A healthy lifestyle including a low fat diet, getting enough sleep and exercise can help support the health of the liver.  It is also important that people with Hepatitis B avoid drugs and alcohol and certain medications including Tylenol and Ibuprofen as these can further damage the liver.