The End of Hepatitis B Transmission Begins at Birth

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the rate of acute hepatitis B virus infection in the U.S. has declined by more than 80 percent since 1990, when routine hepatitis B vaccination of babies was implemented. While this is certainly good news, there are still about a million people in the U.S. today who suffer from chronic hepatitis B virus infection.

It is also important to know that the likelihood of acute hepatitis B infection becoming chronic is higher the younger a person is when infected. Approximately 90 percent of infants who are infected will develop chronic infection; worldwide, most people with chronic hepatitis B were infected at birth or during early childhood.

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