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Home > A secondary outbreak of hepatitis B among contacts of drug-abusers in Dublin.

Kelly, DA and Carrol, D and Shattock, AG and O'Connor, E and Weir, DG (1983) A secondary outbreak of hepatitis B among contacts of drug-abusers in Dublin. Irish Medical Journal , 76 , (4) , pp. 205-208.

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Acute hepatitis B was relatively uncommon among drug abusers in Ireland until 1980. After that, a marked increase in the availability of heroin, and hence in heroin addiction, was found. Subsequently, a continuing epidemic of acute hepatitis B in parenteral drug abusers was also noted.

The aims of this study were to investigate the extent of the spread of this epidemic to non-drug-abusers; the mode of transmission of the infection; and to compare the hepatitis B serology in both parenteral and nondrug-abusers. The researchers found that there had been a recent increase in hepatitis B among non-drug-abusers and that it was mainly due to transmission via sexual contact with intravenous drug abusers. The authors stated that this outbreak might have serious consequences because, as the number of HBsAg positive patients increased, so would the incidence of chronic liver disease and possibly hepatoma in the Irish population


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