Myth: Hepatitis B can be transmitted easily through casual contact such as touching, hugging, kissing, eating together, using a public toilet, swimming in the public swimming pool as well as eating seafood.
Fact: Hepatitis B can only spread from an infected person to another person via blood or other bodily fluids such as semen, and vaginal fluid. Hence, the virus can transmit through unprotected sex, sharing needles or syringes among intravenous drug users, exposure to contaminated equipment at barbershops, or while doing tattoos but not through casual contacts. Additionally, pregnant women can also spread the virus to their babies during childbirth. Therefore, hepatitis B patients do not have to avoid close contact with people and other people also do not have to discriminate against someone known to have hepatitis B. They do not have to eat separately or use separate bathrooms. They should avoid sharing personal hygiene items such as a toothbrush, razor, and nail clipper as these products could be contaminated with their infected blood. They should also not donate blood. Hepatitis B does not spread by consumption of seafood. Among the different types of viral hepatitis, only hepatitis A and E are transmitted through contaminated food and water (i.e. oral-fecal route).