MMWR Paper on Hepatitis B
April 27, 2012
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a DNA virus that affects the liver and belongs to the Hepadnaviridae group (Takkenberg, Weegink, Zaaijer, & Reesink, 2010). According to an article in Vox Sanguines, an international journal of transfusion medicine, (Takkenberg, Weegink, Zaaijer, & Reesink, 2010) “about 400 million people worldwide are chronically infected with HBV, and 2 billion people have serological evidence of past or present HBV infection”. HBV, formerly known as serum hepatitis (Huether & McCance, 2008), has eight genotypes (A-H) with genotype D being associated with viral or acute hepatitis B and prevalent ...view middle of the document...
Icteric phase – begins 1-2 weeks after prodromal phase and lasts 2-6 weeks; jaundice, dark urine, and clay-colored stools are common; liver is enlarged, smooth, and tender, and percussion causes pain; this is the actual phase of illness.
Recovery phase – begins with resolution of jaundice, about 6-8 weeks after exposure; symptoms diminish, but liver remains enlarged and tender; liver function returns to normal 2-12 weeks after the onset of jaundice.”
Transmission of HBV from a blood transfusion has become increasingly rare as screening processes have improved and become routine over the past two decades (Lai, Ratziu, Yuen, & Poynard, 2003). Viral HBV is usually symptomatic and can be diagnosed with serological analysis for a specific hepatitis antigen, which for HBV is simply HBsAg (Huether & McCance, 2008).
Treatment for acute HBV is also mostly symptomatic with the vast majority of cases, upward of ninety percent, resolving themselves and complete recovery is attained (Adams, Holland, Jr., & Urban, 2011). Physical activity may be limited along with a diet low in fat and high in carbohydrates if any blockage of bile has occurred (Huether & McCance, 2008). The most effective way of preventing infection with HBV is through advance immunization. With the achievement of growing the HBV in a laboratory being made in 1986; by growing liver cells and then infecting them as the HBV cannot grow on its own but must invade appropriate cells and then reproduce the virus, (Schmeck Jr., 1986) greater understanding of the virus along with better defenses such as vaccines have made fighting HBV a more achievable task. Most healthcare workers or those that are exposed to blood or body fluids are vaccinated; and universal vaccination of children before they enter school is being considered or has been adopted in some states (Adams, Holland, Jr., & Urban, 2011). For those who have reasonable belief they may have been exposed to HBV, immunoglobins can be started as soon as possible after exposure.
Looking at the data provided by CDC (Department of Health and Human Services, 2011) during 2010-2011 there is an average incidence of HBV of 8...