Can It Be Prevented?The best cure for hepatitis B is preventing it in the first place. Prevention is best accomplished with the hepatitis B vaccine, which is given as a shot. Avoiding high-risk situations can also help prevent infection with the virus.
(Click Hepatitis B Prevention for more information.)
- The number of new hepatitis B infections per year has declined from an average of 260,000 in the 1980s to about 73,000 in 2003.
- The highest rate of hepatitis B occurs in 20- to 49-year-olds.
- The greatest decline in hepatitis B has occurred among children and adolescents due to routine hepatitis B vaccination.
- About 1.25 million Americans are estimated to be chronically infected with hepatitis B. Of these people, 20 to 30 percent acquired their infection in childhood.
(Click Hepatitis B Statistics for more information.)