Hepatitis B - Annual Epidemiological Report for 2017

Surveillance report
Publication series: Annual Epidemiological Report on Communicable Diseases in Europe
Time period covered: This report is based on 2017 data retrieved from The European Surveillance System (TESSy) on 10 December 2018
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European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. Hepatitis B. In: ECDC. Annual epidemiological report
for 2017. Stockholm: ECDC; 2019.

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In 2017, 30 EU/EEA Member States reported 26 907 cases of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. Excluding the five countries that only reported acute cases, the number of cases, 26 262, corresponds to a crude rate of 6.7 cases per 100 000 population. Of all cases, 9% were reported as acute, 58% as chronic, 32% as ‘unknown’ and 1% could not be classified. The highest rate of acute infections was observed among 35–44-year-olds, the highest rate of chronic infections among 25–34-year-olds. The overall male-to-female ratio was 1.6:1.

The rate of acute cases continues to decline, which is in accordance with global trends and most likely reflects the impact of national vaccination programmes. Among acute cases with complete information, heterosexual transmission was most commonly reported (27%), followed by nosocomial transmission (16%) and transmission among men who have sex with men (13%). Among chronic cases, mother-to-child transmission and nosocomial transmission were the most common routes of transmission reported (41% and 28% respectively).

Prevention and control programmes need further scaling up if European countries are to achieve the goal of eliminating hepatitis B. Surveillance data are important in monitoring the epidemiological situation, and there is a need to improve their quality.

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