Hepatitis B virus (HBV) can be transmitted percutaneously (needlestick), permucosally (blood into eye, sexual intercourse), non-intact skin (blood or secretions into open wounds/cuts/dermatitis, etc.), perinatally (from mother to child during birth), and continuous close contact (household contact with a HBV-positive person).
Because HBV is stable on environmental surfaces for at least 7 days, indirect inoculation can occur via inanimate objects (such as toothbrushes and razors). It is not transmitted via the fecal-oral route (as hepatitis A is). Tests can detect HBV in the blood 30 to 60 days after exposure to infection. The virus persists for variable periods and phases, and the incubation period can range from six weeks to six months (CDC, 2004).