Hepatitis B eradicated in minors
José A. de la Osa
ACUTE viral Hepatitis B, considered
a severe liver infection, has been eradicated in
Cuba in children of 15 years and under, as a result
of massive immunization campaigns with the national
Heberbiovac HB vaccine, which provides lifelong
protection and is produced by the Genetic
Engineering and Biotechnology Center.
Not one case of Hepatitis B in the
pediatric age group has been reported in the last 23
years, Dr. Maira Fonte Reyes, a specialist in
Hygiene and Epidemiology and Infectious Diseases,
During the same period, acute viral
Hepatitis B has reduced its incidence in the country
by 99.04%, which means that while 2,194 people were
notified as suffering from the disease in 1989, by
the end of 2011 just 21 cases were reported, all of
them patients over 30 years of age.
Hepatitis B is one of five viruses
identified to date that cause inflammation of the
liver, which can become chronic when acquired at an
early age, thus leading to acute liver insufficiency,
cirrhosis and cancer.
Immunization campaigns against
Hepatitis B for all infants at birth began in 1992,
and these were later extended to students and risk
groups such as workers in the health sector and
patients on dialysis, among others, and the entire
population under 30 years of age is currently
vaccinated against the disease.
Given that the infection is acquired
through direct contact with blood and other body
fluids such as semen, Heberbiovac HB is administered
in immunization centers to all persons aged 31 and
over who have not been previously vaccinated, after
confirmation that they are not carriers of the
Hepatitis B virus.