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Hepatitis B and Pregnancy

Perinatal Hepatitis B

Disease Burden of Perinatal Hepatitis B

Each year in the United States approximately 24,000 Hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) positive women give birth1.  Out of these births, approximately 924 infants will become infected with the Hepatitis B virus from perinatal (mother to baby) transmission[1]. In the District of Columbia, an estimated 55 - 104 births to HBsAg+ women are expected this year[2]

Infants are particularly vulnerable as 90% of those infants who get Hepatitis B within the 12 months of birth become chronically infected (for life) and have a higher chance of developing liver cancer or liver failure. Individuals who become infected with Hepatitis B after five years of age only have a 5% chance of chronic infection.

[1] Smith et al. Pediatrics 2012; 129(4). Ko et al. J Ped Infect Dis published online 2014

[2] 2016 Peritable CDC published 2017

More Information about Perinatal Hepatitis B:

A case management study of a hepatitis B positive mother and child:


The DC Health Perinatal Hepatitis B Prevention Program

The DC Department of Health’s (DC Health) Perinatal Hepatitis B Prevention Program funded by the CDC has been established to track infants of mothers who are HBsAg positive. The nurse consultant identifies infants who are susceptible, educates mothers and families on Hepatitis B and the expected treatment of the infant, and follows up on timely hepatitis B vaccine dosing and post-vaccine serology testing. Contact the PHBPP Nurse Consultant Donna Sheler, RN and report any cases up to 24 months of age. You may reach her by calling 202-576-9325 or email [email protected]. Referrals can be faxed to 202-741-8720 using the Perinatal Hepatitis B Case Referral PDF.

Links of Interest