hepatitis; hepatitis B; HBV; liver; jaundice; immunise; immunisation; vaccine; vaccination; blood; immunoglobulin; hep b; hepatitis d ;
Hepatitis means there is an inflammation of the liver. Inflammation is a natural reaction of the body to injury. Hepatitis can be caused by alcohol, some drugs, some chemicals and viruses. There are several different viruses that cause hepatitis, such as hepatitis A, B and C.
What is hepatitis B?
Hepatitis B is an infection caused by the Hepatitis B virus (HBV), a virus that affects the liver. The hepatitis B virus can be passed on via the blood and through sexual contact. A blood test will show whether or not a person has hepatitis B.
Information about hepatitis B
For more detailed information on hepatitis B, read the following fact sheets from the South Australian Department of Health web site:
Hepatitis SA helpline 1300 436 222, business hours
Clinic 275 (the sexually transmitted diseases clinic in Adelaide, South Australia) has information on their web site about a range of sexually transmitted diseases, including hepatitis B:
for hepatitis B
Immunisation against hepatitis B is very safe and very effective. In Australia, all babies are offered immunisation against hepatitis B in the first week of life, and again at 2, 4, and 6 months of age.
Year 8 students who have not already been immunised are offered free hepatitis B immunisation. This program is offered through schools, usually by the local council, but the immunisation can also be provided by a person's doctor.
Doctors can provide immunisation against hepatitis B for any person who wants it, at any age - but it may not be free. Some of the vaccines available are combined with both hepatitis B and hepatitis A.
The blood rule
- Many sports have adopted a rule which must be followed if a player is wounded and bleeding during a game, because of concerns about the spread of blood-borne infections such as hepatitis B.
- The rule may require players who are bleeding or who have blood on themselves or their uniform to leave the ground and have the problem seen to. The player may not be allowed to return until the bleeding has ceased, the wound covered by a waterproof dressing and any blood completely removed.
- Hepatitis B and hepatitis A protection by immunisation is highly recommended for people playing contact sports.
Blood rule resource
The information on this site should not be used as an alternative to professional care. If you have a particular problem, see a doctor, or ring the Parent Helpline on 1300 364 100 (local call cost from anywhere in South Australia).
This topic may use 'he' and 'she' in turn - please change to suit your child's sex.