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03:53:25am | 29-Jul-2020 | 980 | 79

HEPATITIS B (HBV)

How is HBV transmitted?

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

  • sex with an infected partner;
  • injection-drug use that involves sharing needles, syringes, or drug-preparation equipment;
  • birth to an infected mother;
  • contact with blood from or open sores on an infected person;
  • exposures to needle sticks or sharp instruments; and

sharing certain items with an infected person that can break the skin or mucous membranes (e.g., razors, toothbrushes, and glucose monitoring equipment), potentially resulting in exposure to blood.

 

How long does HBV survive outside the body?

HBV can survive outside the body and remains infectious for at least 7 days (2).

 

What should be used to clean environmental surfaces potentially contaminated with HBV?

Any blood spills (including dried blood, which can still be infectious) should be disinfected using a 1:10 dilution of one part household bleach to 10 parts of water. Gloves should be worn when cleaning up any blood spills.

 

Who is at risk for HBV infection?

The following populations are at increased risk for becoming infected with HBV:

  • Infants born to infected mothers
  • Sex partners of infected people
  • Men who have sex with men
  • People who inject drugs
  • Household contacts or sexual partners of known people with chronic HBV infection
  • Health-care and public-safety workers at risk for occupational exposure to blood or blood-contaminated body fluids
  • Hemodialysis patients

 

Who should be screened for HBV?

CDC recommends that the following people be screened for HBV (3,4,5):

  • People born in countries with an HBV prevalence of ≥2%
  • People born in the United States not vaccinated as infants whose parents were born in regions with high rates of HBV infection (HBsAg prevalence of ≥8%)
  • Men who have sex with men
  • People who inject drugs
  • People with HIV
  • Household and sexual contacts of HBV-infected people
  • People requiring immunosuppressive therapy
  • People with end-stage renal disease (including hemodialysis patients)
  • Blood and tissue donors
  • People with elevated alanine aminotransferase levels (>19 IU/L for women and >30 IU/L for men)
  • Pregnant women (hepatitis B surface antigen [HBsAg] only is recommended)
  • Infants born to HBV-infected mothers (HBsAg and antibody to hepatitis B surface antigen [anti-HBs] only are recommended)

 

Are international travelers at risk for HBV infection?

The risk for HBV infection in international travelers is generally low, except for certain travelers to regions where the prevalence of chronic HBV infection is high or intermediate (i.e., HBsAg prevalence of ≥2%). Hepatitis B vaccination should be administered to unvaccinated people traveling to those countries. More information about hepatitis B and travel is available from CDC’s Travelers’ Health site.

 

What are the signs and symptoms of HBV infection?

Not all people with acute HBV infection have symptoms. The presence of signs and symptoms varies by age. Most children <5 years of age and newly infected immunosuppressed adults are generally asymptomatic, whereas 30%–50% of people age ≥5 years have signs and symptoms (6). When present, signs and symptoms of acute HBV infections can include

  • fever,
  • fatigue,
  • loss of appetite,
  • nausea,
  • vomiting,
  • abdominal pain,
  • dark urine,
  • clay-colored stool,
  • joint pain, and
  • jaundice.