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Hep B Vaccination May Cut Deaths From Liver Disease

Taiwan study highlights need for vaccination for all, U.S. expert says

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For those born between 1977 and 2004, a more than 90 percent reduction occurred in deaths from chronic liver disease and liver cancer, and there were 80 percent fewer cases of liver cancer overall.

Deaths from infant fulminant hepatitis B also decreased 90 percent.

Hepatitis B is spread when blood, semen or other body fluids infected with the virus enters the body of an uninfected person, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The infection can be transmitted from an infected mother to her newborn. The hepatitis B virus also can be transmitted during sex with an infected person or by sharing needles, syringes or other drug-injection equipment.

Sharing razors or toothbrushes with an infected person also can transmit the disease, as can direct contact with blood or open sores of an infected person, according to the CDC.

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