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My dh is beginning EMT classes and will be taking the firefighter's exam soon. He was told that it was recommended that he receive the Hep B series.

We are a no-vax family as far as the kids go but I need some good, solid info on:

1. Is this vax a good idea for him since he may be dealing with blood / bodily fluids?
2. What are the risks he will carry the disease (if he gets it) into our home and infect our children?
3. His mother has lupus ~ since this is one potential side effect of the vax, is he more susceptible to developing lupus as well because that autoimmune disorder is already "in his genes?"

I am worried about him and us. I don't want my kids catching hep b from him, if he were to "carry" it home, and I don't want my dh to end up suffering from lupus for the rest of his life as his mother is.

Please help!
 

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I don't know a whole lot about this, but I did find a few things in a quick search:

"Only about 5% to 10% of immunocompetent adults infected with HBV develop chronic hepatitis B. In some individuals who become chronically infected, especially neonates and children, the acute infection will not be clinically apparent.
Acute hepatitis B can range from subclinical disease to fulminant hepatic failure in about 2% of cases. Many acutely infected individuals develop clinically apparent acute hepatitis with loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, fever, abdominal pain and jaundice. In cases of fulminant hepatic failure from acute HBV infection, orthotopic liver transplantation can be life-saving. About 90% to 95% of acutely infected adults recover without sequelae. About 5% to 10% of acutely infected adults become chronically infected."
http://www.cumc.columbia.edu/dept/gi/hepB.html

For myself, I would definitely spend a good deal of time researching this (and I'm sure that there will be much more useful info coming your way here soon!), but the fact that your dh's mother has an autoimmune disorder like lupus would make me verrrry cautious about getting the vax. He will be in a somewhat higher risk category b/c of his occupation, but this article (referenced above from columbia) began with a statement about how HepB is "relatively rare" in the US, so perhaps you can find stats on actual risks to person in your dh's profession, and then of course some reliable stats on HepB vax effectiveness.

Someone here recently posted stats from CDC and VAERS (and I am very sorry I can't remember who it was!), but according to that info, for 2002 (the most recent year available) it went like this:

Deaths from Disease: 5 (Under the age of 25)
Deaths From Vax: 4
Adverse Events Reported: * 4290

The asterisk is indicative of a statement explaining that the CDC estimates that adverse reax are grossly underreported and actual numbers are probably about 90% higher than what's shown.

Again, I would be VERY wary of this because of the lupus in his mother if for nothing else (and there's a lot more, but the lupus is major to me!).

Also, HepB is transmitted via blood, blood products, and sexual contact, so it is likely that with reasonable precautions your kids would not catch it from your dh even if he were to become infected somehow.

Good luck!
 

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I used to be a police officer. I got the Hep B series...the videos/etc made it out to be a scary thing. However, this was before I had kids and did research on vaxes, and now that I have, I can tell you that if I had to do it over again, I would not have gotten the Hep B series.

If your DH did get Hep B, it is transmitted through contact with blood or bodily fluid (ie sex), so as long as you practice safe wound-handling practices, your kids would have very very little chance of contracting it (as the PP said).
 

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I don't have links, but from my research the Hep B is HIGHLY reactive (nasty life-long reactions, I believe it's been linked to MS among other issues) and NOT very effective. Health care professionals who "have" to have it have numerous series and never show immunity.

-Angela
 

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my dh is a ff/emt. he had the series many years ago. his "took". he has had no problems (that are definately provable to be vax related anyways) as of yet. this was waaay before we knew anything about vaxes as well.

his brother was also a ff/paramedic (now a police officer) and he has had the series more than once, but did not show antibodies. he said he is not having any more shots regardless ( hates needles
)

it was "highly recommended " to me thta i get the series when i was working at the helth dept, since breastmilk is a bodily fluid- i very happily declined, since it is pretty easy to wear gloves whenever you are around a mama/baby pair, and can move to avoid getting sprayed, lol
 

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My Dh is a fireman and EMT and he received the Hep B shot, I think he also elected on his own to get the Hep C series. The Hep C was in part due to us traveling to Guatemala. I don't know if the Hep B was required or just highly suggested. Not sure if that helps or not, good luck.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by alegna
I don't have links, but from my research the Hep B is HIGHLY reactive (nasty life-long reactions, I believe it's been linked to MS among other issues) and NOT very effective. Health care professionals who "have" to have it have numerous series and never show immunity.-Angela
Actually, that's not true Angela. Some never do show immunity, but a lot of healthcare workers do. My parents had me get the Hep B vax series in 1996 and I still showed immunity to it when I had a titre drawn this year.

I would stay away from the vax. Your family's history of autoimmune diseases makes it more likely that you will develop an autoimmune disease. My unfortunate vaccination in 1996 could be totally unrelated to my development of systemic lupus erythematosus, but I doubt it. I became symptomatic in 1998 and was diagnosed in 2000.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Starr
My Dh is a fireman and EMT and he received the Hep B shot, I think he also elected on his own to get the Hep C series. The Hep C was in part due to us traveling to Guatemala. I don't know if the Hep B was required or just highly suggested. Not sure if that helps or not, good luck.
There is no Hep C series. They only have vaccines available for Hep A and Hep C. Perhaps he got the Hep A vax?
 

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I am pretty sure it was C. Maybe it was a one time shot and I am confusing it with other ones we received for our trip. It had to do with poor water quality and blood contact? if that makes sense.
 

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If he did catch Hep B, it's very likely that he would pass it onto you, if you haven't had it already and if you don't use condoms. However, it's almost certain that both of you would recover completely, as long as you're both healthy (take selenium and vitamin E). It's very, very unlikely that your children would catch it from either one of you. I don't know the ages of your children (didn't look to see if it's in your sig before I started the post), but Hep B is not transmitted by breastfeeding. Basically, don't bleed on your children and wash your hands before touching them if you do get them bloody for some reason.

Several members of my extended family have had Hep B. None of them passed it onto their unvaccinated children, despite living with those children until they were grown and moved out of the house. My aunt even gave birth to a child while infected, and the baby didn't get it. It's not as contagious as they lead you to believe.
 

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Did he have his titers checked first to see if he already has immunity?

If it were me, I would refuse that vax. My dh got Hep B vax and now has Bells Palsy, insulin dependant diabetes, kidney failure and demylienation(sp?).
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Starr
I am pretty sure it was C. Maybe it was a one time shot and I am confusing it with other ones we received for our trip. It had to do with poor water quality and blood contact? if that makes sense.
There is no HepC vaccine. Not at all.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by alegna
NOT very effective. Health care professionals who "have" to have it have numerous series and never show immunity.

-Angela
That isn't true actually. I work in health care and I know very few people who didn't convert (I know like maybe 1 person), most do show immunity even 15+ years later. It is a highly effective vaccine.

BUT that doesn't mean I would get the vax! I refused the HepB series for myself. I think the HepB vax is too risky, especially for certain groups (those with autoimmune diseases in their families)--but not everyone, in fact I dont know anyone who has had a serious reaction to the HepB vax as an adult (and I know a LOT of adults who have had it because of where I work), but I know a few who got the shots and felt sick for a day or two afterwards. We have a lot of autoimmune diseases in my family as well and I just don't feel right in my gut about this vax, there is just too much controversy about this vax for me to feel safe about getting it.

Yes your husband is at risk working around blood and other body fluids, yes you can get it from him if he became infected via sex. Your children are at no real risk since it is transmissted mainly via blood and serous fluids-- I wouldn't worry about them just like I dont worry about me transmitting it to my kids. HepB is more contagious than HIV/AIDS or HepC though.

95% of adults who get HepB recover within 12 weeks, but it may take up to a year to fully recover I believe for some (so there could be missed work). Also know that approx 50% of adults who become infected are asymptomicatic. If I were your husband I would get my titers checked, he may have had HepB and never known about it and already have immunity towards it. Of course 5% of adults who do become infected develop chronic cases. My sister is a chronic carrier and her liver does show some abnormalities at this time


To the OP here is the CDC Pink Book chapter on HepB:
http://www.cdc.gov/nip/publications/pink/hepb.pdf

Start off by educating yourselves about the *disease* first (this is really important!!!) and then the vax, not the opposite.

Your husband will be taught about universal precautions to protect himself about HepB, HepB, HIV, etc etc etc etc. Universal precautions only go so far though, I've seen many RNs and MD/DO splashed in the face/eyes with blood unexpectedly (we don't wear face masks all the time). There are MANY diseases and infections anyone working in the health care field can get, not just HepB. I worry more about HepC and HIV than HepB.

Good luck with your research, it took me a long time to come to my decision about the HepB vax and to feel comfortable with it.
 

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Dh is military and had to have the Hep B series a number of years ago. He had only one series. He had titers done both shortly after the series and just last summer and they both showed immunity. I don't know whether your dh needs it, but the vax can be effective.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by momma2emerson
Dh is military and had to have the Hep B series a number of years ago. He had only one series. He had titers done both shortly after the series and just last summer and they both showed immunity. I don't know whether your dh needs it, but the vax can be effective.
How do really know, unless you inject him with Hep B to see if he gets it or not?
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Starr
I am pretty sure it was C. Maybe it was a one time shot and I am confusing it with other ones we received for our trip. It had to do with poor water quality and blood contact? if that makes sense.
It was probably Hep A. It's transmitted via the feccal/oral route generally through food or contaminated water.
 

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My dad is a volunteer firefighter/ first responder, and he recently got 3 Hep B shots and still tested "not immune." I asked him to stop getting it, though I doubt he listened to me. He just stopped mentioning it to me.
 
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