Acute hepatitis B among children and adolescents--United States, 1990-2002.MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2004 Nov 05; 53(43):1015-8.MM
Since the 1991 adoption of a comprehensive strategy to eliminate hepatitis B virus (HBV) transmission in the United States, the incidence of acute hepatitis B cases has declined steadily. Declines have been greatest among children born after the 1991 recommendations for universal infant hepatitis B vaccination were implemented. In 1995, the elimination strategy was expanded to include routine vaccination of all adolescents aged 11-12 years and, in 1999, to include children aged < or =18 years who had not been vaccinated previously. To describe the epidemiology of acute hepatitis B in children and adolescents in the United States, CDC analyzed notifiable disease surveillance data collected during 1990-2002 and data collected during 2001-2002 through enhanced surveillance of reported cases of acute hepatitis B in children born after 1990. This report summarizes the results of that analysis, which indicated that the rate of acute hepatitis B in children and adolescents decreased 89% during 1990-2002 and that racial disparities in hepatitis B incidence have narrowed. Many confirmed cases in persons born after 1990 occurred among international adoptees and other children born outside the United States. Continued implementation of the hepatitis B elimination strategy and accurate surveillance data to monitor the impact of vaccination are necessary to sustain the decline of acute hepatitis B among children.