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Hepatitis B:

GS Paper 2:

Topics Covered: Issues related to health.



A series of unexplained cases of Hepatitis B in children has taken over the world. Many countries including the US and UK reported mysterious cases of a few children being diagnosed with Hepatitis B.


About Hepatitis B:

  • Hepatitis B is an infection in the liver which happens because of the Hepatitis B virus or HBV.
  • The virus usually spreads through blood, semen or other body fluids.



It can be prevented or protected against through vaccination.



  • The most common symptoms of Hepatitis B are jaundice, fever, fatigue that lasts for weeks or even months, vomiting, loss of appetite, and pain in joints or belly.
  • When it is acute, the virus lasts a small time and doesn’t always necessarily need treatments although it can get serious and lead to life-threatening diseases like organ scarring, liver failure and even cancer.


What is adenovirus and how is it leading to Hepatitis B in children?

Adenovirus is a group of viruses that commonly cause cold or flu-like symptoms, fever, sore throat, acute bronchitis, pneumonia, conjunctivitis, acute inflammation of the stomach, diarrhoea, vomiting, nausea and stomach pain.

  • Adenovirus is known to spread from one person to another through close contact, coughing, sneezing and even by touching an object containing adenovirus and then further touching the mouth, nose or eyes.
  • Type 41 adenovirus is suspected of causing Hepatitis B in children.
  • While there are more than 50 types of adenoviruses, it is type 41 that causes diarrhoea, vomiting and fever along with respiratory problems.




Prelims Link:

  1. Causes.
  2. Symptoms.
  3. Prevention of the disease.
  4. Concerns.
  5. Spread of the disease and ways to address them.

Sources: Indian Express.