2019 Hepatitis B annual report

The number of notified cases of acute hepatitis B remains low in Denmark and chronic hepatitis B is in line with last year.

Six cases. That is the number of notifications received by the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Prevention at Statens Serum Institut (SSI) in 2019 for persons with acute hepatitis B.
Concurrently, the SSI received 164 notifications for persons with chronic hepatitis B. The corresponding number for 2018 was 155 cases.

“The number of notified cases of acute hepatitis B is still very low, whereas chronic hepatitis B is in line with the numbers recorded last year”,

Section Head Susan Cowan, SSI.

Most of the acute cases infected through sex

The age of the six acutely infected cases ranges from 28 to 47 years. The majority were infected by sexual transmission. Three had become infected in Denmark; two by heterosexual transmission and one by homosexual transmission.

The remaining two cases had presumably become infected in Ghana and Turkey, respectively; whereas for the final person, the country and the mode of infection were not provided.

Most chronic cases became infected at birth

Whereas the majority of the patients with acute hepatitis B had become infected via sex, most of the people affected by chronic hepatitis B had become infected at birth, before immigrating to Denmark.

Thus, only six of the infected people - all men - were of Danish origin. The rest - a total of 158 - were of foreign origin.

As many as 68% of the women notified with chronic hepatitis B were detected via the general screening of pregnant women.

“All pregnant women who test positive to hepatitis B in the pregnancy screening programme are to be referred to specialist departments for examination and treatment, if relevant. This is so because it is possible to treat pregnant women who would otherwise loose their foetus,” 

Section Head Susan Cowan, SSI

See the annual report on acute and chronic hepatitis B