Indications and contraindications for vaccination against hepatitis
The World Health Organization’s Department for Infectious Disease Control and Prevention estimated that before the launch of the universal immunization program in infancy against hepatitis B. About 100,000 children under the age of 10 born from uninfected mothers acquired the virus. Hepatitis B is a potentially life-threatening disease caused by a specific virus. This can lead to inflammation and damage to the liver. The disease can occur without symptoms or with acute short-term manifestations, which may include:
- jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes);
- pain in the joints;
- abdominal pain;
- itchy red rashes on the skin of the body.
The virus during life can be completely eliminated from the body of most infected teenagers and adults. Only about 2-6% of infected older children and adults are defined in the blood throughout life. They are carriers of the virus and can transmit it to other people. Approximately 30 percent of children infected with hepatitis B develop a chronic disease: the younger the child, the more likely that the infection will become a chronic process. The consequences of this may include:
- chronic liver disease;
- cirrhosis of the liver;
- liver cancer;
- hepatic insufficiency.
There is no specific medicine for this infectious disease. About one quarter of patients with chronic hepatitis type B die from cirrhosis or liver cancer before reaching the age of 40 years. They include many children who do not live to adulthood. Of the approximately 1.25 million Russians with chronic hepatitis B, 20-30 percent were infected in childhood and infancy.