Louisiana Department of Health & Hospitals | Kathy Kliebert, Secretary

Statewide Initiatives

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Louisiana Perinatal Hepatitis B Program

Prevention and Surveillance

The purpose of the Louisiana Perinatal Hepatitis B Program is to eliminate the spread of Hepatitis B virus (HBV) from mother-to-child transmission in the State of Louisiana. CDC recommends that all newborns receive the "birth dose" of the HBV vaccine prior to discharge from the birthing hospital/ birthing facility.

Hepatitis B Virus Statistics and Data

  • Approximately 800,000-1.4 million people are living with chronic HBV.
  • An estimated 40,000 people now become infected with HBV each year.
  • Approximately 600,000 people will die from HBV-related diseases every year./ Every year, approximately 3,000 people in the United States and more than 600,000 people worldwide die from Hepatitis B-related liver disease.
  • Approximately 21,000 people in the Louisiana population are chronically infected with HBV.
    Among infants who acquire HBV infection from their mothers at birth, as many as 90% become chronically infected, whereas 30%-50% of children infected at age 1-5 years become chronically infected.
  • Our challenge: In Louisiana, only 76.7% of newborns receive the birth dose of hepatitis B vaccine by 3 days of age.

Intervention Strategies
Perinatal screening and universal infant vaccination beginning at birth can prevent infection at all ages. Routine vaccination of previously unvaccinated children and adolescents is an important supplementary intervention until 100% universal vaccine coverage is achieved among infants. The CDC National Quality Forum (NQF) Perinatal Measure #0475 requires each birthing hospital/ birthing facility to measure their administration of a dose of hepatitis B vaccine to all infants born in their hospital/ birthing facility prior to discharge for a specific period.

Louisiana Standard of Care

  • All pregnant women should be screened for Hepatitis B in their first trimester.
  • The birth dose of HBV vaccine should be given to all newborns before leaving the hospital regardless of maternal HBV status. To enroll in the Universal Birth Dose Program please see this memo.
  • Babies born to HBV positive mothers and those with an unknown HBV status should receive the birth dose of HBV vaccine and immune globulin within 12 hours of birth.
  • All three doses of the HBV vaccine series need to be completed, and for babies born to infected mothers, post-vaccine testing should be completed at 9-18 months of age.

Reporting Requirements for Hepatitis B VirusAccording to the LAC 51:II.105 (Sanitary Code for the State of Louisiana), Hepatitis B Virus in pregnant women is a Class B Disease. This means that positive cases are required to be reported within 1 business day of receiving a positive lab report. Timely response is necessary because there is great potential for transmission to others.

These cases can be reported to the Louisiana Perinatal Hepatitis B Program either by phone: (504) 838-5300 or by faxing the Perinatal Hepatitis B Surveillance Form found here to (504) 838-5206. According to the Louisiana Sanitary Code Title 51, Ch. II, all laboratories are required to report any of the disease/conditions listed in the Public Health Sanitary Code, Part II, Chapter 1, §105. See "What Laboratories Need to Know"