Fortunately, there is a vaccine that provides protection against hepatitis B. The vaccine is highly recommended as it is 95 percent effective in preventing hepatitis B infection and its chronic consequences.
The majority of younger British Columbians are now immune to hepatitis B due to the addition of the universal Grade 6 immunization program that has been in effect since 1992 and the universal infant vaccine program since 2001.
If you have not received the vaccine and are susceptible to infection, talk to your health care provider about getting vaccinated.
The treatments for hepatitis B can suppress the infection but not cure it. There are drugs that interfere with viral replication or improve the immune system’s response to the infection. The goal of treatment is to reduce the risk of serious complications such as cirrhosis and liver cancer.
There are several new therapies in development which are expected to improve the management of hepatitis B in the future. A discussion with a healthcare provider specializing in viral hepatitis is necessary to inform you of the various therapeutic options.