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Hepatitis Surveillance

Epidemiologic Characteristics

Issued April, 1996

Table 3 presents crude frequencies of the potential sources of infection reported by patients with viral hepatitis. The same questionnaire was used for all patients with hepatitis, regardless of type. Although questions about selected risk factors associated primarily with hepatitis A have not always been asked for hepatitis B and NANB hepatitis, and vice versa, cases reported in 1993 have shown an improvement in this respect. Patients may also give a positive response to more than one factor; therefore, the data listed in Table 3 are not mutually exclusive.


Table 3. Crude Frequency of Potential Sources for Acquiring Viral Hepatitis and Other Characteristics, 1993
Percentage of Patients
Characteristic Hepatitis A
N = 8,817
Hepatitis B
N = 3,714
Non-A, Non-B
Hepatitis
N = 856
Reported within 2-6 weeks of illness*
Child/employee in daycare center 6.8 1.6 1.7
Contact of daycare child/employee 10.9 4.7 5.0
Personal contact with hepatitis A patient 33.6 1.8 3.5
Suspected foodborne or waterborne outbreak 4.7 0.3 0.6
International travel 8.4 3.2 2.4
Reported within 6 weeks to 6 months of illness+
Blood transfusion 0.4 1.0 2.4
Injection Drug use 3.7 10.5 23.0
Medical/dental employment 2.9 3.5 4.0
Hemodialysis-associated 0.9 1.2 1.5
Personal contact with B/nonA, nonB patient 3.8 17.7 13.2
Homosexual activity 3.6 6.9 3.5
Multiple sex partners 4.9 20.2 12.5
Dental work 11.1 15.5 16.8
Surgery 3.5 6.6 8.1
Acupuncture 0.5 0.5 0.5
Tattooing 1.8 4.3 5.7
Other percutaneous exposures 0.9 3.2 2.7
Known hepatitis B vaccine responder NA 0 NA
Ever received hepatitis B vaccine 3.4 1.3 3.5
*Approximately 67% to 76% of hepatitis B patients, and 70% to 81% of NANB hepatitis patients answered these questions.

+ Approximately 60% to 70% of hepatitis A patients answered the non-sexual questions; 46% answered those regarding sexual preferences or number of sex partners; therefore, reported frequencies for these risk factors may be unreliable (see text).





  
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