Hepatitis B

Serology includes hepatitis B surface antigen as a screening test and hepatitis B core antigen to determine infectivity. There is a 10% carrier rate in South East Asians. Serology should be sent in all high risk patients, e.g. jaundice, IV drug abuse, homosexuals, prostitutes, those with tattoos or unexplained hepatic enzyme abnormalities. In addition, hepatitis B status should be known in staff who suffer accidental exposure to body fluids, e.g. through needlestick injury. Those who are not immune may be treated with immunoglobulin.

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