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In pursuit of control and elimination: update on hepatitis A and B epidemiology and prevention strategies.

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Published:30th Sep 2018
Author: Chi V, Cleary S, Bocchini JA Jr.
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Ref.:Curr Opin Pediatr. 2018;30(5):689-697.
In pursuit of control and elimination: update on hepatitis A and B epidemiology and prevention strategies

Purpose of review:
This review describes the impact of recommendations for routine immunization of infants and children against hepatitis A and hepatitis B, the changing epidemiology of these infections, and the remaining challenges to controlling or eliminating these diseases in the United States.

Recent findings: Rates of hepatitis A and B have significantly declined because of childhood vaccination programs and long-term protection provided by infant immunization. However, hepatitis A immunization rates remain lower than other vaccines, and outbreaks continue to occur in part due to a growing number of susceptible adults. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practice has updated pre and postexposure prophylaxis and travel recommendations for hepatitis A prevention in young infants, as well as recommendations to reduce ongoing perinatal transmission of hepatitis B.

Summary: Pediatric healthcare providers should continue to immunize all infants against hepatitis A and B and ensure that no child outgrows the pediatric practice without being vaccinated. To address hepatitis A, providers should be aware of new recommendations for unimmunized travelers, use vaccines to prevent and control outbreaks, and ensure postexposure prophylaxis. Universal vaccination of infants against hepatitis B should begin before hospital discharge. The prevention of perinatal transmission is critical for control and possible eradication of hepatitis B.


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