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.
The best way to prevent hepatitis B is through vaccination with the hepatitis B vaccine.
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends hepatitis B vaccination for the following people:
- All infants
- Unvaccinated children aged <19 years
- Adults aged 19 through 59 years
- Adults aged 60 years and older with risk factors for hepatitis B
The following groups may receive hepatitis B vaccination:
- Adults aged 60 years and older without known risk factors for hepatitis B
A case of hepatitis B should be reported within 7 days to your local District Public Health Office or by calling 1-866-PUB-HLTH (1-866-782-4584).
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Postexposure Prophylaxis Information:
Information for Healthcare Workers:
Page updated 6/15/2023