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International News

China Has 93 Million Hepatitis B Surface Antigen Carriers: Ministry

April 24, 2008

In a report released Monday, the Ministry of Health said about 93 million Chinese, 7.18 percent of the nation's population, have hepatitis B surface antigen. A protein antigen produced by the hepatitis B virus, HBsAg is the earliest sign of acute HBV infection and often identifies people with the infection before symptoms are evident.

Persons in western and interior provinces are more likely to carry HBV than those in eastern and coastal provinces, said Hao Yang, deputy director of the ministry's disease prevention and control bureau.

HBV became part of the national inoculation plan in 1992. Since that time, the proportion of newborns receiving the three-shot series went from 30 percent to 93 percent in 2005. The proportion of children ages one to four with HBsAg is now just 0.96 percent -- dramatically lower than the 8.57 percent infection rate among persons ages 15 to 59.

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Persons seeking government as well as private employment in China have long complained of discrimination against those with HBV. Standards released by the government in 2005 declare that people with HBV are eligible for civil service so long as their infection does not progress to the disease stage.

Back to other news for April 2008

Adapted from:
Xinhua
04.21.2008


  
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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
 
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