News and Announcements
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is a major cause of acute and chronic hepatitis, cirrhosis of the liver, and primary hepatocellular carcinoma. It is the most prevalent chronic infectious disease in the world, a common cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide, and a major health problem in the United States. The World Health Organization estimates that more than 600,000 persons died worldwide in 2002 of hepatitis B-associated acute and chronic liver disease.
In the United States, HBV infects about 80,000 people each year, and 1.25 million people are chronically infected. Of these chronically infected individuals, about 20%-30% acquired their infection in childhood. About 5,000 Americans die each year from hepatitis B and its related complications.
In Texas, it is estimated that up to 1,200 children are born to HBsAg-positive women every year. In 2006, only 553 cases were reported. Ninety percent (90%) of infants born to HBsAg-positive mothers will not be infected with hepatitis B virus (HBV) if they receive hepatitis B vaccine and hepatitis B immune globulin (HBIG) within 12 hours of delivery. If not treated at birth, twenty-five percent (25%) of these infants will die from liver-related diseases such as cirrhosis, liver failure, and hepatocellular carcinoma.