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The Basics: Overview Hepatitis B is a virus that spreads from person to person through blood, semen (cum), and fluids from the vagina. A mother with hepatitis B can also pass it to her baby at birth.
Some people who get hepatitis B can get rid of the virus. Others develop chronic hepatitis B – a lifelong infection that can lead to liver disease and even death.
To protect yourself and your family from hepatitis B:
Make sure your children get the hepatitis B vaccine (shot). And ask your doctor if you need it. Get tested for hepatitis B if you are pregnant or if you are at risk for infection. Be safe when you travel to countries where hepatitis B is common. Do I need the hepatitis B vaccine (shot)? Hepatitis B can be prevented with a vaccine. The hepatitis B vaccine is recommended for:
All babies at birth Anyone under age 19 who didn’t get the shots as a baby Adults who are at risk for hepatitis B If you think you might be at risk for hepatitis B, talk with your doctor or nurse about getting the vaccine. Find out more about who needs to get the hepatitis B vaccine.