Hepatitis B infections are either acute or chronic. Acute hepatitis B can last from a few weeks to a few months. The risk of progressing to chronic hepatitis B depends on the age at which infection first occurs. Approximately 10% of adults, up to 50% of children, and 90% of babies who become infected with the hepatitis B virus will develop chronic infection.1
Chronic hepatitis B is more serious than acute hepatitis B. Chronic hepatitis B can lead to more serious liver disease, including liver cancer. A person with chronic hepatitis B may have the disease for life.
Worldwide, approximately 350 million people are infected with chronic hepatitis B.1 Some 15 to 25% of people with chronic hepatitis B will eventually die from liver disease.2
While chronic hepatitis B cannot be cured, a doctor can prescribe certain medications that can help manage the disease.