• Hepatitis B
  • Disease Issues

What are the signs and symptoms of hepatitis B?

About 30%–50% people who are 5 years of age or older with acute (recently acquired) hepatitis B have initial signs or symptoms when infected with hepatitis B virus (HBV). Children younger than age 5 years and newly infected immunosuppressed adults rarely show any symptoms. When present, signs and symptoms of hepatitis B might include nausea, lack of appetite, tiredness, muscle, joint, or abdominal pain, fever, diarrhea or vomiting, headache, dark urine, clay-colored stools, and yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes (jaundice). People who have such signs or symptoms generally feel quite ill and might need to be hospitalized. People with chronic (life-long) HBV infection might have no symptoms, have no evidence of liver disease, or have a range of disease from chronic hepatitis to cirrhosis or hepatocellular carcinoma, a type of liver cancer.

Last reviewed: July 21, 2023

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