Hepatitis B is a virus that infects the liver. In an acute case, an adult infected with the virus will heal after a couple of days and s/he may not even be aware that s/he is carrying the virus. In a more severe case hepatitis can become chronic and damaging to the liver.
A common symptom of hepatitis B is the flu like lethargy, jaundice, vomiting, loss of appetite and a mild fever.
To avoid catching the illness, close contact with bodily fluids of an infected person, becoming vaccinated (especially important to a newborn whose mother was a carrier during pregnancy), using unsterile needles and piercing tools and sharing toothbrushes and razors with an infected individual.
Regular contact such as touch or hugging will not give over the virus from a carrier to another person.
During the summer months, be extra careful to swim in a pool that is sterile.