- Handwashing before eating and after toilet.
- Sanitary disposal of excreta which will prevent contamination of water, food and milk.
- Purification of community water supplies by adequate chlorination. 1 mg/l of free residual chlorine can destroy virus in 30 minutes.
- Boiled water can be advocated for drinking purposes during epidemics.
- Protection of high risk population by giving immunoglobulin (especially pregnant women). It should be given before exposure or in early incubation period, it prevents illness in 80–90% of those exposed. If given after onset of symptoms it is of no use.
- However WHO expert committee has expressed the view that the use of immunoglobulins on large scale is unwise.
- Vaccination – Hepatitis A virus vaccine though available not used routinely.
Is there a cure?
No, there is no cure for Hepatitis B. People with acute HBV infection can be treated for their symptoms. However most chronic carriers will be asymptomatic, & therefore will not seek treatment. Prevention through immunization is the best protection against Hepatitis B infection.
How effective is the vaccine?
The Hepatitis B vaccine is 95 percent effective & can be given safely to infants, children & adults. The vaccine can prevent infection even when it is applied before 7 days after exposure to infection.
How safe is the vaccine?
Hepatitis B vaccine is very safe. Mild transient effects that may occur after vaccination include
- Soreness at the injection site (3 to 9 percent).
- Fatigue, headache & irritability (8 to 18 percent).
- Fever higher then 37.70 c (0.4 to 8 percent).
- Are there any contraindications to the Hepatitis B vaccine?
- Severe allergic reaction to a previous dose of Hepatitis B vaccine.
- Severe allergic reaction to bakers yeast (the kind of yeast used in making bread.)
The storage temperature for Hepatitis B vaccine is same as of DPT, between 2 c to 8 c. Hepatitis B vaccine should never be frozen. Freezing the vaccine causes it to lose its potency.
Where the vaccine is produced?
The vaccine is produced at Serum institute of India, Pune, M/s Shantha Biotect, Hyderabad, & M/s L. G. Science, Korea.
Where the vaccine is given?
Hepatitis B Vaccine was introduced in UIP in Pune and Mumbai Municipal Corporation slums during March,2003.It was introduced in Phase IB Districts in Satara, Ratnagiri & Chandrapur districts in September,2003. From 1.4.2004 the vaccination started in the whole Pune and Mumbai Municipal Corporation areas.