Posted by: Anonymous | 2009/06/08

Hepatitis B S Antigen

I am 21 weeks pregnant and my routine tests came back positive for Hepatitis B S Antigen. What are the risks of infecting the baby with this virus and how does it affect me and the baby?

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Our expert says:
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Dear Anonymous
Are you sure it is Hep BS antigen ( not antibody?) Hep BS antigen is an indication of active Hepatitis B infection or a chronic Hep B carrier ( can infect other people with Hep B although you are not sick). Hep BS antibody is an indication of resistance against Hepatitis B ( you develop this after a previous infection or immunization)
If you have active hepatitis B, then your newborn must be given two shots immediately in the delivery room:
first dose of the hepatitis B vaccine
one dose of the Hepatitis B Immune Globulin (HBIG).
If these two medications are given correctly within the first 12 hours of life, a newborn has more than a 90% chance of being protected against a lifelong hepatitis B infection. You must make sure your baby receives the second and third dose of the hepatitis B vaccine at one and six months of age to ensure complete protection
Some doctors also give antiviral medication in the last few months of pregnancy.
Dr Bets

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