Facts About Preventable Diseases: Hepatitis B
- Hepatitis B is a serious public health problem that affects people of all ages in the United States and around the world. In 2003, an estimated 92,000 people contracted hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection in the United States.
- Hepatitis B is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV) and is an acute illness with short-term effects such as loss of appetite, diarrhea, vomiting, redness, jaundice (yellow skin or eyes) and pain in the muscles, joints, and stomach.
- The long term effects of Hepatitis B can result in a life-long infection, cirrhosis or scarring of the liver, liver cancer, liver failure, and even DEATH
- Hepatitis B can be transmitted through blood and body fluids of infected persons.
- Hepatitis B vaccine is 80% to 95% effective in preventing HBV infection and clinical hepatitis among susceptible children and adults and vaccine recipients are virtually 100% protected against clinical illness.
- The recommended immunization schedule for children and young adults is aimed at controlling the transmission of Hepatitis B and its complications.
- Vaccination is aimed at preventing the disease ONLY and it has no effect on a person already suffering from Hepatitis B
- Three doses of the Hepatitis B vaccine are required to maintain a level of protection. The vaccine serie is only recommended once in lifetime, except for special circumstances as determined by a physician
- The childhood and young adults immunization schedule for the United States of America recommends Hepatitis B vaccination as follows: At birth, at one month and at six months of age the Hepatitis B Series MUST be completed upon middle school entrance
- For information on how to get vaccinated please call:
Children and young adults: 305-663-6853
Employees and other adults: 305-666-6511 ext:2636
Who is at Risk?
- baby born to a mother who is infected with the condition
- a job that exposes you to human blood
- share a household with someone who has lifelong hepatitis B infection
- have sex with a person infected with hepatitis B have sex with more than one partner during a six-month period
- received blood a transfusion(s) BEFORE 1975
- a person whose parents were born in Asia, Africa, the Amazon Basin of South America, the Pacific Islands, Eastern Europe, or the Middle East
- were born in an area listed above/were adopted from an area listed above
- are an Alaska native
- have hemophilia
- are a patient or worker in an institution for the developmentally disabled
- inject drugs
- inmates of a long-term correctional facility
- travel internationally to areas with a high prevalence of hepatitis B
To receive more information on how to get your family and/or children vaccinated, please call the Nicklaus Children's Hospital Division of Preventive Medicine and Community Pediatrics at 305-663-6853