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Hepatitis B virus, animated model. Hepatitis B virus is extremely common, and is endemic in some regions of the world. It is thought to have infected more then two billion people worldwide. It is transmitted by contact with infected body fluids, such as blood and semen. It causes acute hepatitis, an inflammatory disease of the liver, which can be fatal in rare cases. Some 350 million people are chronic carriers of the virus, which can lead to cirrhosis and fatal liver cancer. A vaccine for HBV exists, but it hasnot been rolled out globally. HBV is a partially double-stranded DNA virus that replicates through an RNA intermediate using reverse transcriptase.
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