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When infected by the Hepatitis B virus (HBV), many patients experience flu-like...

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vannystar | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 19, 2013 at 8:49 PM via web

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When infected by the Hepatitis B virus (HBV), many patients experience flu-like symptoms such as fever, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, and malaise.  This is called acute hepatitis.  During this stage, what is the HBV doing?  What do you call this stage of the virus life cycle?

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jerichorayel | College Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted October 27, 2013 at 6:35 AM (Answer #1)

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There are two stages (or types) of Hepatitis B that can affect humans. When the virus gets into the patient's system, it will show preliminary symptoms such as fever, loss of appetite, vomiting and malaise. In this stage, the patient is undergoing acute hepatitis b. However, if the condition is not treated it will develop into the chronic hepatitis b. 

During the acute hepatitis b, the virus is literally on work and multiplication. The virus first attacks the liver cells and then the outer coating of the virus is opened, attaching itself to the nucleus of the host cell, and exposing the genetic component of the virus. The genetic component of the virus binds with the RNA of the host cell, commanding the duplication of the genetic component. Simultaneously, the nucleus signals the ribosomes the production of the protein needed for the new virus to be formed. Finally, the newly formed genetic component plus the proteins made from the ribosomes combined together to form the new virus, exiting the host cell and targeting other healthy liver cells. This stage is called the viral replication. 

The host cell will eventually die since all of the resources are consumed to produce new viruses. At this stage, the patient now will feel the effect of the virus since many cells are being affected. 

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