Hepatitis B is caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV). It is usually an acute (short-term) disease for those infected as adults, but it usually becomes a chronic (long-term) disease for those infected as children.
Hepatitis B is spread through contact with blood and other bodily fluids. The most common way to get hepatitis B is from mother to baby, especially for those born in regions in Asia and the Pacific Islands.
Asians, Native Hawaiians, and other Pacific Islanders tend to be infected at a much higher rate, with an estimated 1 in 10 Asian Americans chronically infected with hepatitis B compared to 1 in 1,000 people in the general population.
While there is no cure for hepatitis B, there are treatments available to manage the disease. In addition, there is a vaccine available to prevent infection.
State of Hawaii, Department of Health Disease Outbreak Control Division
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention