hepatitis B is a liver infection caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV). The hepatitis B virus is transmitted when blood, semen, or another body fluid from a person infected with the virus enters the body of someone who is not infected. This can happen through sexual contact; sharing needles, syringes, or other drug-injection equipment; or from mother to baby at birth. For some people, hepatitis B is an acute, or short-term, illness but for others, it can become a long-term, chronic infection. Risk for chronic infection is related to age at infection: approximately 90% of infected infants become chronically infected, compared with 2%–6% of adults. Chronic hepatitis B can lead to serious health issues, like cirrhosis or liver cancer. The best way to prevent hepatitis B is by getting vaccinated.
In 2017, a total of 3,407 cases of acute hepatitis B were reported to CDC The overall incidence rate for 2016 was 1.0 cases per 100,000 population. After adjusting for under-ascertainment and under-reporting, an estimated 22,100 acute hepatitis B cases occurred in 2017
HBV is transmitted through activities that involve percutaneous (i.e., puncture through the skin) or mucosal contact with infectious blood or body fluids (e.g., semen and saliva), including
HBV is not spread through food or water, sharing eating utensils, breastfeeding, hugging, kissing, hand holding, coughing, or sneezing.
HBV can survive outside the body at least 7 days and still be capable of causing infection
The following populations are at increased risk for becoming infected with HBV:
Screening should include testing for three HBV screening serum markers (HBsAg, antibody to HBsAg [anti-HBs], and antibody to hepatitis B core antigen [anti-HBc]) so that persons can be classified into the appropriate hepatitis B category and properly recommended to receive vaccination, counseling, and linkage to care and treatment
People who should be screened for HBV:-
If symptoms occur, they begin an average of 90 days (range: 60–150 days) after exposure to HBV
For chronic infection, several antiviral medications are available. People with chronic hepatitis B infection require linkage to care with regular monitoring to prevent liver damage and/or hepatocellular carcinoma.
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends that the following people receive hepatitis B vaccination:
People at risk for infection by per-cutaneous or mucosal exposure to blood
Yes. Women should receive HBsAg testing during each pregnancy, and those who are HBsAg-positive should have HBV DNA testing.
Can hepatitis B vaccine be given during pregnancy or lactation?
Yes. The hepatitis B vaccine contains no live virus, so neither pregnancy nor lactation should be considered a contraindication to vaccination of women. On the basis of limited experience, there is no apparent risk of adverse effects to developing fetuses when hepatitis B vaccine is administered to pregnant women. Meanwhile, new HBV infection in a pregnant woman might result in severe disease for the mother and chronic infection for the newborn. Pregnant women who are identified as being at risk for HBV infection during pregnancy should be vaccinated and counseled concerning other methods to prevent HBV infection. Pregnant women may be at increased risk for hepatitis B if they:-