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Hep B Carrier and Swine Flu
Aug 5, 2009

Hello Doctor,

I am an inactive Hep B carrier, and I'm concerned about the Swine Flu/H1N1 Pandemic. I recognize that this is a Hepatitis/HIV Coinfection forum, but I'm hoping you are willing and able to answer my question -- I cannot seem to find an answer elsewhere.

My boss was recently infected with H1N1, and although we work in close proximity, I somehow managed to dodge the swine flu bullet. However, my close encounter did get me to thinking about the implications of being an Inactive Hep B Carrier and possibly becoming infected with H1N1 this coming flu season. We keep hearing about people dying from H1N1 who have some sort of underlying health condition. The media (understandably) does not mention what the underlying causes are, but I'm wondering if being an Inactive Hep B Carrier puts me at more risk of dying should I ever become ill with H1N1.

Thanks for your reply, doctor. It's much appreciated.

Response from Dr. McGovern

I would NOT consider you to be at increased risk. Although persons with chronic liver disease are considered at some risk, we usually think of this in terms of those with advanced fibrosis (eg, cirrhosis). As an inactive carrier, you do not have active inflammation or ongoing liver disease progression.



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