DCHHS' Communicable Disease Control division coordinates a perinatal Hepatitis B prevention program designed to prevent transmission of the Hepatitis B virus (HBV) to infants delivered by infected women.
Hepatitis B is a contagious liver disease that is caused by the Hepatitis B virus. The illness can range in severity, sometimes causing chronic illness and death.
Symptoms can include loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, body aches, mild fever, dark urine and sometimes jaundice. More severe cases can cause chronic inflammation of the liver, cirrhosis, liver cancer and death.
Transmission of hepatitis B virus results from exposure to bodily fluids from a person infected with HBV. Exposure can happen through sexual contact with an infected person or sharing needles, syringes or other drug-injection equipment. Hepatitis B can also be passed from an infected mother to her baby at birth.
Infants born to infected mothers have a higher risk of becoming infected if they do not receive complete treatment and vaccination series for HBV. Hepatitis B infection among babies and young children often leads to serious consequences, including death from advanced liver disease.
The infection is preventable. Vaccines are available.
For information, consultation or to make an appointment, call 214-819-2004.
Visit http://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/B/ or http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/idcu/disease/hepatitis/hepatits_b/perinatal/ for more information.