Hepatitis B is a liver disease caused by infection with the hepatitis B virus. It can range in severity from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a lifelong serious illness. Hepatitis B is usually spread when blood, semen, or another body fluid from a person infected with the hepatitis B virus enters the body of someone who is not infected.
Rates of screening for hepatitis B in Veterans who received VA care in calendar year 2012 were low at approximately 20 percent. Hepatitis B infection rate for Veterans tested for hepatitis B were low at about one percent overall and varied by race/ethnicity – however this rate is four times larger than the rate estimated for the overall U.S. population.
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