hepatitis B

noun

: an acute or chronic hepatitis that is caused by a DNA virus (species Hepatitis B virus of the genus Orthohepadnavirus, family Hepadnaviridae), is marked chiefly by fatigue, fever, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, darkened urine, jaundice, and joint pain but may be asymptomatic, and is transmitted especially by contact with infected blood (as by transfusion or by sharing contaminated needles in illicit intravenous drug use) or by contact with other infected bodily fluids (such as semen)

Note: The acute form of hepatitis B, a mild illness lasting several weeks to months, may progress to long-term or chronic infection often leading to liver damage, liver failure, or liver cancer.

called also serum hepatitis

Examples of hepatitis B in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Those risks can be bacterial, as well as infectious diseases, such as HIV, syphilis, and hepatitis B and C.3 And what about any claims that human milk has helped an adult recover from a cold? Tiffany Leigh, Parents, 15 Apr. 2024 That’s especially true since some STIs are incurable — including HIV, hepatitis B and HPV —and can lead to health problems including infertility or be life-threatening, Earle-Cruickshanks said. Kristen Rogers, CNN, 14 Apr. 2024 In clinical trials, giving the first dose of the hepatitis B vaccine less than 12 hours after birth prevents up to 95% of newborn hepatitis B infections among babies born to people carrying the virus. Taryn Chapman, Parents, 28 Sep. 2023 The hepatitis B vaccine helps to thwart liver cancer. Delthia Ricks, New York Times, 7 Mar. 2024 In chronic diseases, such as HIV and hepatitis B, immune cells can become fatigued from frequent exposure to the pathogen and lose the ability to combat it effectively, Schober said. Mira Cheng, CNN, 6 Mar. 2024 Rather, the list included tetanus, hepatitis B, chickenpox and the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) shot, among others. Natalie Kainz, NBC News, 18 Jan. 2024 Donors must be tested for HIV-1 and HIV-2, hepatitis B and C, syphilis and more to be eligible to donate their milk, according to Amy Trotter, community relations director. Lina Ruiz, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 9 Feb. 2024 Sharing or reusing needles can lead to the transmission of HIV, hepatitis B and other infectious diseases. John Kelly, Washington Post, 13 Nov. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'hepatitis B.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1971, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of hepatitis B was in 1971

Dictionary Entries Near hepatitis B

Cite this Entry

“Hepatitis B.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hepatitis%20B. Accessed 22 Apr. 2024.

Medical Definition

hepatitis B

noun
: an acute or chronic hepatitis that is caused by a double-stranded DNA virus (species Hepatitis B virus of the genus Orthohepadnavirus, family Hepadnaviridae), is marked chiefly by fatigue, fever, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, darkened urine, jaundice, and joint pain but may be asymptomatic, and is transmitted especially by contact with infected blood (as by transfusion or by sharing contaminated needles in illicit intravenous drug use) or by contact with other infected body fluids (as semen)

Note: The acute form of hepatitis B, a mild illness lasting several weeks to months, may progress to long-term or chronic infection often leading to liver damage, liver failure, or liver cancer.

called also serum hepatitis

More from Merriam-Webster on hepatitis B

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