US diabetics recommended hepatitis B jab

Tue, 25 Oct 2011
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States has recommended that diabetes patients should have an immunising vaccination against hepatitis B. The decision came as a result of recent findings that show diabetic adults in the US are at an estimated twofold increased risk of infection from the virus.

The CDC identified 24 of 28 recent outbreaks at long-term care facilities as being due to different aspects of blood glucose monitoring. It showed that blood glucose monitors that were not properly cleaned was a means of hepatitis B virus transmission among diabetes patients.

With diabetics also facing the threat of infection from other blood-borne pathogens, this is a worrying issue for those with the metabolic condition, especially as hepatitis B is highly infectious in residual blood and also is relatively stable. Blood glucose monitors can also be hard to fully clean due to their design and as cleaning can sometimes damage the equipment.

Researcher Trudy V. Murphy commented "Over the past several years, we've observed outbreaks of hepatitis B among patients with diabetes in places where they undergo assisted blood glucose monitoring, with more than one person using the monitor." This can occur at the doctors, pharmacies and in assisted-living facilities, she added.

Dr. Murphy recommended that the vaccine should be targeted at patients with either type 1 or 2 diabetes, as an extra measure for helping protect against the virus.
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