To eliminate hepatitis B infections in the state of Texas
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is a major cause of acute and chronic hepatitis, cirrhosis of the liver, and primary hepatocellular carcinoma. It is the most prevalent chronic infectious disease in the world, a common cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide, and a major health problem in the United States. The World Health Organization estimates that more than 600,000 persons died worldwide in 2002 of hepatitis B-associated acute and chronic liver disease.
In the United States, HBV infects about 80,000 people each year, and 1.25 million people are chronically infected. Of these chronically infected individuals, about 20%-30% acquired their infection in childhood. About 5,000 Americans die each year from hepatitis B and its related complications.
In Texas, it is estimated that up to 1,200 children are born to HBsAg-positive women every year. In 2006, only 553 cases were reported. Ninety percent (90%) of infants born to HBsAg-positive mothers will not be infected with hepatitis B virus (HBV) if they receive hepatitis B vaccine and hepatitis B immune globulin (HBIG) within 12 hours of delivery. If not treated at birth, twenty-five percent (25%) of these infants will die from liver-related diseases such as cirrhosis, liver failure, and hepatocellular carcinoma.
Perinatal hepatitis B is preventable by
- Screening pregnant women at the first prenatal visit and at delivery
- Giving the birth dose of hepatitis B vaccine and HBIG to babies born to HBsAg- positive women within 12 hours of delivery
- Giving the birth dose of hepatitis B vaccine to all babies before hospital discharge
The purpose of the Texas Department of State Health Services’ Perinatal Hepatitis B Prevention Program (PHBPP) is to
- Identify hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) positive pregnant women;
- Ensure that infants of HBsAg-positive pregnant women receive hepatitis B immune globulin (HBIG) and hepatitis B vaccine at birth;
- Ensure that infants complete the hepatitis B vaccine series and serological testing;
- Identify household and sexual contacts to HBsAg positive mothers;
- Vaccinate at risk contacts and conduct serological testing.