hepatitis B

noun

Definition of hepatitis B 

: 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

Like hepatitis B, hepatitis C has no connection to food. Shari Rudavsky, Indianapolis Star, "Hepatitis outbreaks: 10 things to know about the liver disease," 15 June 2018 The remaining 55 are tests for diseases the W.H.O. considers of highest priority: H.I.V., tuberculosis, malaria, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, HPV and syphilis. New York Times, "For First Time, W.H.O. Names Some Lab Tests ‘Essential’," 21 May 2018 Each year, the World Health Organization estimates, hepatitis B kills 887,000 people. Carl Zimmer, New York Times, "In Ancient Skeletons, Scientists Discover a Modern Foe: Hepatitis B," 9 May 2018 More than 90% of children under the age of 3 have been vaccinated against measles, mumps, rubella, hepatitis B, chickenpox, and polio. Brittany Shoot, Fortune, "These Are the Riskiest Cities and Counties For Infectious Disease Epidemics," 14 June 2018 Oftentimes, cancer is caused by infectious viruses such as hepatitis B and human papillomavirus, which can be prevented with a vaccine. Molly Sullivan, sacbee, "How do you get a skeptical patient to test for cancer? UCD, health center target cultural barriers," 2 June 2018 In response to the letter, a WHO spokesperson pointed out that another virus, hepatitis B, causes more than 400,000 cancers each year worldwide. Kai Kupferschmidt, Science | AAAS, "Scientists are declaring war against a leukemia-causing virus that has infected millions," 23 May 2018 More than 90 percent of kids under age 3 have had their full series of vaccines against measles, mumps and rubella; hepatitis B, chickenpox; and polio. NBC News, "Public support for vaccines drops a bit," 21 May 2018 The blood is screened for infectious diseases, such as hepatitis B and C, HIV, West Nile virus, CMV, and Epstein-Barr virus. Shari Rudavsky, Indianapolis Star, "'This room becomes sacred.' The heroic and heartbreaking journey of one organ donor's body," 17 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hepatitis B.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of hepatitis B

1971, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about hepatitis B

Share hepatitis B

Statistics for hepatitis B

Last Updated

14 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for hepatitis B

The first known use of hepatitis B was in 1971

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for hepatitis B

hepatitis B

noun
\ -ˈbē \

Medical Definition of hepatitis B 

: 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

Comments on hepatitis B

What made you want to look up hepatitis B? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

the setting in which something occurs

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!