Hepatitis B (acute and chronic)
Hepatitis B is caused by infection with the Hepatitis B virus. Hepatitis B is usually spread when blood, semen, or another body fluid from a person infected with the Hepatitis B virus enters the body of someone who is not infected. This can happen through sexual contact with an infected person or sharing needles, syringes, or other drug-injection equipment. Hepatitis B can also be passed from an infected mother to her baby at birth.
Hepatitis B can be either acute or chronic. Acute hepatitis B virus infection is a short-term illness that occurs within the first six months after someone is exposed to the virus. Chronic hepatitis B virus infection is a long-term illness that occurs when the virus remains in a person’s body. Chronic hepatitis B is a serious disease that can result in long-term health problems and even death.
A total of 12 cases or 0.4 cases for every 100,000 persons of acute hepatitis B were reported to CADE in 2012. Sixty-seven percent of the cases were males. Nationally, acute hepatitis B infections occur 1.8 times more often in men than in women.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates there were 43,000 new hepatitis B infections in the U.S. in 2007, and between 800,000 and 1.4 million people living with chronic hepatitis B disease in the US.
There were 227 confirmed or probable chronic hepatitis B cases reported in 2012 in Iowa. Fifty-five percent of the cases were females and 45 were males.
For more detailed information and statistics on all notifiable diseases, please see our current annual report.