What is Hepatitis B and how can my baby catch it?
Hepatitis B is an infection of the liver caused by a virus that's spread through
blood and body fluids. Hepatitis B can range from a mild short term illness to
a serious, lifelong illness in children. It can often persist for years and may
eventually cause serious liver damage.
An infected mother can pass on the infection to her baby during birth. The
hepatitis B virus is spread when blood, semen, or other body fluid infected
with the hepatitis B virus enters the body of a person who is not infected.
What would happen if my baby got Hepatitis B?
As per CDC, about 30%-50% of people aged 5 years and older have
symptoms from acute hepatitis B. Most children under 5 years old and
people with serious health problems, such as being immunosuppressed,
generally do not have symptoms.
Symptoms of hepatitis B include tiredness, fever, loss of appetite,
nausea, yellowing of skin or eyes, abdominal pain and dark urine.
Approximately 90% of infected infants (i.e. children less than 1 year of
age) will develop chronic infection. The risk goes down as a child gets
older. Approximately 25%–50% of children infected between the ages of
1 and 5 years will develop chronic hepatitis B
Chronic hepatitis B can cause liver damage, cirrhosis, liver cancer and
What are the ways to protect my newborn from Hepatitis B?
As per CDC, best way to prevent hepatitis B is by getting vaccinated.
Completing the series of shots is needed for full protection.21
Talk to your doctor about more information on vaccination against
Please consult your Paediatrician for the complete information on how
to prevent these diseases including more information on vaccination.