Public Health Management of Perinatal Hepatitis B Virus
Article first published online: 1 JUL 2009
© 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Public Health Nursing
Volume 26, Issue 4, pages 353–361, July/August 2009
How to Cite
Libbus, M. K. and Phillips, L. M. (2009), Public Health Management of Perinatal Hepatitis B Virus. Public Health Nursing, 26: 353–361. doi: 10.1111/j.1525-1446.2009.00790.x
- Issue published online: 1 JUL 2009
- Article first published online: 1 JUL 2009
- communicable diseases;
- health care systems;
- maternal-child health
ABSTRACT Infants who are born to hepatitis B surface antigen (HbsAg)-positive women are at high risk for contracting perinatal hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. When maternal status is known, postexposure prophylaxis (PEP) consisting of a birth dose of (HBV) vaccine and Hepatitis B Immune Globulin may be administered within 12 hr of birth to provide 90% protection. Providers' reporting of maternal HBsAg positivity or perinatal HBV should prompt public health nurses to initiate nurse case management (NCM). NCM is the most successful way to ensure that at-risk infants receive PEP and follow-up serology. Unfortunately, reporting laws vary greatly by state and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that perinatal HBV is significantly under-reported nationally. This article discusses public health measures for preventing perinatal HBV and presents a case study that used a novel method to assess the extent of under-reporting. We discuss barriers to public health NCM and the importance of a universal HBV vaccine birth dose to protect undetected and unreported cases. Finally, we suggest implications for public health nursing practice.