Hepatitis B virus is a viral infection of the liver. It is spread by exposure to
infected blood and body fluids. Most people do not become acutely ill with
the virus, and children under the age of 10 are usually without symptoms.
The younger a person is when infected, the greater the chance of becoming
a chronic carrier. About 90% of untreated infants exposed will become carriers, contrasted to 5-10% of adults. 25% of chronically infected people die prematurely
of cirrhosis or liver cancer.
Hepatitis B Birth Dose
This is a federally funded program to prevent disease and the carrier state in
children who are exposed to this virus during the birth process. When birthing
hospitals identify early on which mothers are carriers of hepatitis B, there is a
much higher chance of being able to administer HBIG, the hepatitis B vaccine
series, and provide screening to the newborn as well as any susceptible household contacts.
Becoming a Hepatitis B Birth Dose Provider
Hospitals can receive Hepatitis B vaccine at no cost to assist themin providing the birth dose to all newborns in their care regardless in providing the birth dose to all newborns in their care regardless of insurance status.
To participate in this program, hospitals have to ensure proper storage and handling of the vaccine, submit appropriate paperwork, and use NESIIS
monitoring, reporting and ordering.
Perinatal Hepatitis B Coordinator: Karen Rutherford