The hepatitis B virus is 100 times more infectious than HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, and infects about 10 times more people than HIV worldwide.
Hepatitis B virus infects the liver, and more than 350 million people in the world are lifelong hepatitis B virus carriers.
Long-term hepatitis B virus infection causes at least one million premature deaths every year from cirrhosis of the liver or liver cancer. It is second only to tobacco as the leading cause of cancer in humans.
Among the Hepatitis B carriers, 25% will develop serious liver diseases, including chronic hepatitis, cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma.
The hepatitis B virus can be passed from an infected mother to her baby during childbirth, 1 in 20 Singaporeans are chronically infected with hepatitis B virus.
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a DNA Hepadna virus that causes an infection of the liver. Transmission is through blood or body fluids viz. mother-to-child transmission, sexual intercourse, transfusion of contaminated blood, and sharing of needles and syringes.
Sporadic infection occurs in people without apparent risk factors, in institutions for learning difficulties and also in children in countries of high endemicity, but in these cases the means of transmission is poorly understood.
A total of 65 cases of acute hepatitis B infections were reported in 2010. The overall age-standardised prevalence of HBsAg among Singapore residents aged 18 to 69 years decreased significantly from 4.0% in HBSS 1999 to 2.8% in HBSS 2005 (p = 0.002).