FROM: U.S. CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION
Hepatitis B Screening and Prevalence Among Resettled Refugees — United States, 2006‒2011
Refugees are a heterogeneous population and hepatitis B prevalence is associated with country of origin and individual lived experience. Ongoing health surveillance activities focused on refugees are essential to ensuring appropriate assessment and treatment following resettlement. Hepatitis B is a viral disease that can be acute or chronic and is a significant public health concern both globally and in the United States. Refugees frequently emigrate from countries with high prevalence of active hepatitis B infection (≥2 percent), and/or are at higher risk of hepatitis B infection due to their lived experiences as refugees. However, refugees are a heterogeneous group and recent data are not available regarding prevalence of hepatitis B in recently resettled refugee communities. States, local health departments, healthcare providers, resettlement agencies, refugees, and other stakeholders may better target education and screening programs based on the prevalence of hepatitis B among the three refugee groups to have resettled in the greatest numbers over the last several years: Iraqis, Bhutanese, and Burmese.