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 Then, finally, the city's nearly 40-year tattoo ban (blame a 1961 hepatitis B outbreak) is lifted. Paige Stables, Allure, "30 Years of Tattoos," 20 Feb. 2021 For many vaccines, such as hepatitis B vaccine, multiple doses are needed to produce long-lasting immune protection. Maggie Fox, CNN, "Is it time to delay second doses of coronavirus vaccines?," 19 Feb. 2021 Although many vaccines widely used today (against measles, for example) produce very effective sterilizing immunity, others, such as the hepatitis B vaccine, do not. Stacey Mckenna, Scientific American, "Vaccines Need Not Completely Stop COVID Transmission to Curb the Pandemic," 18 Jan. 2021 The Willowbrook studies, which ended in 1970, revealed the existence of the A and B strains of hepatitis and sped up the development of a hepatitis B vaccine. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, "A Brief History of Human Challenge Trials," 16 Dec. 2020 Health-care workers, especially those who handle blood, are in some countries required to be vaccinated against hepatitis B to reduce the risk of infection. Jason Douglas, WSJ, "Covid-19 Vaccine Passports Could Help Life Return to Normal, but Experts Urge Caution," 8 Dec. 2020 This year’s conference offered some news along these lines, such as Vir Biotechnology and Gilead’s partnership to find a functional cure for hepatitis B, and a smattering of other deals. Sy Mukherjee, Fortune, "Pfizer or Moderna? A COVID vaccine distribution dilemma," 14 Jan. 2021 Justine Lardon walks with a crutch after suffering severe side effects from a hepatitis B vaccine in 2010, and is hesitating over whether to get vaccinated against the virus. Angela Charlton, ajc, "France takes careful vaccine approach to counter skepticism," 27 Dec. 2020 One common immunization that already uses this technique is the hepatitis B vaccine. Kate Baggaley, Popular Science, "Here’s where all the COVID-19 vaccine candidates currently stand," 18 Dec. 2020

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.

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First Known Use of hepatitis B

1971, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for hepatitis B

Time Traveler

The first known use of hepatitis B was in 1971

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Statistics for hepatitis B

Last Updated

2 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Hepatitis B.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hepatitis%20B. Accessed 6 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for hepatitis B

hepatitis B

noun
\ -ˈbē How to pronounce hepatitis B (audio) \

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

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