Child Health
Understanding how a healthy child develops is important to every parent. Learning about check ups and immunization schedules is helpful to parents as they take their children throughout their lives.

Childhood Immunizations

Perinatal Hepatitis B

Preventing hepatitis B (HBV) transmission during early childhood is important because of the likelihood of chronic HBV infection and chronic liver disease that occurs when children under five (5) years of age become infected.

Annually, an estimated 20,000 infants are born to women in the U.S. who are hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) positive.

The risk of Perinatal HBV infection among infants born to HBV infected mothers ranges from 10-85%. Infants who become infected by perinatal transmission have a 90% risk of chronic infection and up to 25% will die of chronic liver disease as adults. More than 90% of these chronic infections can be prevented if HBsAg positive mothers are identified so that their infants can receive hepatitis B vaccine and hepatitis B immune globulin.

The local health department, the state health department and the health care provider each play an important role in working together to prevent the spread of hepatitis B. virus.

The Cleveland Department of Public Health’s role in preventing Perinatal HBV includes:
  • Determine if each female reported as hepatitis positive, and of childbearing age, is pregnant
  • Obtain information from the primary care physician concerning EDD, birth facility, gravida/ para status, ethnic background, and language so that follow-up can be started
  • Arrange testing/ immunization for household contacts as needed and document the immunization status of the children
  • Ensure, after the birth of the baby, that the hepatitis B vaccine is given to the infant in a timely manner
  • Ask the primary care physician to draw the post vaccine serology at 9-12 months of age and to send the results to the Cleveland Department of Public Health
Immunity to hepatitis B indicates that follow-up is completed.

Common HBV tests include:
  • HBsAg— indicative of current disease
  • Anti-HBc IGM— indicative of current, acute disease
  • Anti-HBs– immune due to immunization (antibodies)
  • Total anti-HBc– immune due to previous disease
For further questions about our Perinatal Hepatitis B program, please call (216) 664-3087.