Viral Hepatitis B Infected Pregnant Female
Infectious agent: Hepatitis B virus
Description of illness: Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection in a pregnant woman poses a serious risk to her infant at birth. Without post-exposure prophylaxis, approximately 40% of infants born to HBV-infected mothers in the United States will develop chronic HBV infection, approximately one-fourth of whom will eventually die from chronic liver disease. Administering post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) of hepatitis B immune globulin (HBIG) and a dose of hepatitis B vaccine within 12 hours of life is 85% - 95% effective in preventing mother to child transmission of HBV. For this reason, reporting is required for each incidence of pregnancy, even if the woman is already known to be chronically infected.