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Friday, November 18, 2011
Viral Hepatitis Action Plan: Spotlight on Hepatitis B
Successful implementation of the Viral Hepatitis Action Plan could result in a substantial increase in the proportion of individuals aware of their hepatitis B infection from the current level of 33% thereby enabling them to seek treatment as well as reduce transmission of the virus to others. The Action Plan calls for health care providers to become better aware of opportunities for preventing, treating, and caring for viral hepatitis, including HBV infections. By strengthening the capacity of state and local health departments to collect a core set of viral hepatitis surveillance data we can better monitor trends in disease and the long-term impact of prevention, care and treatment. In addition, the Plan aims to eliminate the transmission of hepatitis B from mother to child by, among other actions, ensuring that hospitals and birthing centers administer a “birth dose” of hepatitis B vaccine to all newborns prior to discharge.