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Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Vaccine Times: Why vaccinate against Hep B if it's sexually transimtted?

This is a very good question.  And I think it's a valid one by all means.  However, I think too many people dismiss the real risks associated with Hep B.  Furthermore, ensuring immunity while young may get more people, since in general, vaccination rates fall off for the general public as they get older.
A common question about vaccines has to do with Hep B and goes like this: Heb B is a sexually transmitted disease. Why am I vaccinating my newborn for it? This is not a question without merit, and a very good question to ask. Parents should always be encouraged to seek more information. So, in this entry I will try my best to scour the web for information and come up with a good answer.

It is true that Hep B can be transmitted sexually, however it is not transmitted ONLY sexually. The virus passes from one individual to the other through various bodily fluids, including blood, semen, vaginal fluids, saliva, and other body fluids. Here are some ways in which the disease can spread:
  • Blood transfusions
  • Contact with blood in health care settings
  • Had direct contact with the blood of an infected person by touching an open wound or being stuck with a needle
  • Had unprotected sex with an infected person
  • Received a tattoo or acupuncture with contaminated instruments
  • Shared needles during drug use
  • Shared personal items (such as toothbrushes, razors, and nail clippers) with an infected person
Furthermore, a baby can get the virus from the mother during childbirth, if the mother is infected.
READ THE REST OF THE POST HERE.

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