What Does Hepatitis B Core Antibody Positive Mean?

Hepatitis B Core Antibody PositiveHepatitis B is an inflammation of the liver caused by a virus. Signs of hepatitis include tiredness or fatigue, fevers, loss of appetite, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, headache, itchy skin, muscle soreness (pain under the lower right rib cage), jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes), dark urine, and light stools.
Here are some (HBV) hepatitis B facts:

1. HBV infections will occur in one out of every 20 people at some time in the United States

2. Your risk of HBV is greater if you have sex with someone who has HBV.

3. Your risk is greater if you have a job that places you in contact with human blood.

4. Your risk is greater if you travel to areas where HBV is common.

Some people who donate blood get a letter from the blood bank saying that they are hepatitis B core antibody positive. Don’t panic. This does not mean that you have hepatitis B, but you should get a more thorough screening. There are three blood tests that are used to diagnose hepatitis B: hepatitis B surface antigen, hepatitis B surface antibody, and hepatitis B core antibody positive. If your blood tests show that you are hepatitis B core body positive, it means that you either have a present infection or that you were infected in the past. There is a possibility of having a false hepatitis B core antibody positive. Blood banks only screen for hepatitis B core antibody positive and not for surface antigens or antibodies.

Fortunately there is a hepatitis B immunization. The hepatitis B immunization schedule for infants is 3 doses: one within 12 hours of birth, another at 1-2 months, and a third at 6 months. For adults, the first vaccination can be given at any time, the second is given at least one month later, and the third is given 6 months after the first dose. In both adults and infants, it is very important to follow the hepatitis b vaccine schedule in order to be protected from the virus.

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