Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a serious health problem in the United States. Transmission of HBV from mother to infant during the perinatal period confers the greatest risk of chronic infection or death from HBV-related chronic liver disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that between 450 and 750 hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) positive Florida women give birth each year; without prophylaxis, 45 to 100 infants would become infected with HBV. Ninety to 95 percent of these potential infections may be avoided through appropriate maternal screening and infant post-exposure prophylaxis.
Committed to Prevention
The Florida Perinatal Hepatitis B Prevention Program (PHBPP) is committed to the prevention of perinatal HBV infection by:
- The Florida Department of Health in Gulf County (DOH-Gulf) partners with the PHBPP in coordinating perinatal hepatitis B prevention activities in our community.
- Providing proactive and responsive case identification, case management, and follow-up for women, infants, and contacts locally.
- Identifying strategies within Gulf County to promote a sustainable and efficient program that is responsive to public and ever-changing healthcare environment.
Specific objectives of Florida's PHBPP are:
- All pregnant women are tested for HBsAg.
- HBsAg-positive women are contacted before delivery and educated about HBV infection.
- Medical providers and delivery facilities are informed of the mothers HBsAg status.
- Infants born to HBsAg-positive women and those of unknown status receive hepatitis B immune globulin (HBIG) and hepatitis B vaccine within 12 hours of birth, with follow-up doses of vaccine at 1 and 6 months of age.
- Infants born to HBsAg-positive mothers receive post-vaccination testing in a timely manner to ensure protection against HBV infection.
- A tracking system is used to ensure the infant receives appropriate post-exposure prophylaxis.
- Household and sexual contacts of HBsAg-positive women receive pre-vaccination testing, HBIG (if necessary), and hepatitis B vaccine at recommended intervals.