Hepatitis B is a contagious and sometimes persistent infection that can lead to lifelong liver disease (chronic). The primary mode of transmission for the hepatitis B virus (HBV) is through blood, semen, or other body fluids. Risk factors include sexual contact, sharing needles or syringes, and sharing personal items such as razors or glucose monitors with an infected person. The virus is not spread casually (holding or shaking hands, hugging, sneezing, or talking to an infected individual). Hepatitis B can also be transmitted from an infected mother to her baby at birth. HBV can survive outside the body for at least 7 days.
A vaccination is available to prevent hepatitis B.
Information for Healthcare Workers:
HBV Testing Algorithm for Healthcare Students and Staff
This resource from the Immunization Action Coalition (IAC) provides an algorithm to help providers, employers, and colleges properly manage healthcare workers and incoming healthcare students who did not receive post-vaccination testing after their hepatitis B vaccination series.
Link to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report / Vol. 62 / No. 10 / December 20, 2013