hepatitis B virus (HEH-puh-TY-tis ... VY-rus)
A virus that causes hepatitis (inflammation of the liver). It is carried and passed to others through the blood and other body fluids. Different ways the virus is spread include sharing needles with an infected person and being stuck accidentally by a needle contaminated with the virus. Infants born to infected mothers may also become infected with the virus. Although many patients who are infected with hepatitis B virus may not have symptoms, long-term infection may lead to cirrhosis (scarring of the liver) and liver cancer. Also called HBV.