Hepatitis B Surveillance 2020

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What is Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a vaccine-preventable liver disease caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV). HBV is transmitted when blood, semen, or another body fluid from a person infected with the virus enters the body of someone who is uninfected.

This can happen through sexual contact; sharing needles, syringes, or other drug-injection equipment; or from the gestational parent to baby during pregnancy or at birth.

For some persons, hepatitis B is an acute, or short-term, illness; for others, it can become a long-term, chronic infection. Chronic hepatitis B can lead to serious health problems, including cirrhosis, liver cancer, and death.

Treatments are available, but no cure exists for hepatitis B. The best way to prevent hepatitis B is by being vaccinated.

Hepatitis B in 2020

Acute Hepatitis B


There were 2,157 new cases of acute hepatitis B reported during 2020


There were 14,000 estimated acute hepatitis B infections during 2020

Chronic Hepatitis B


There were 11,635 cases of newly reported chronic hepatitis B during 2020


There were 5 newly reported cases of chronic hepatitis B per 100,000 people during 2020

Acute Hepatitis B

During 2020, 44 states reported 2,157 acute hepatitis B cases resulting in an estimated 14,000 infections. After a decade of stable rates, the rate of acute hepatitis B abruptly decreased by 32% after 2019. This decrease may be related to fewer people seeking healthcare and being tested for hepatitis B during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hepatitis B Prevention

Hepatitis B vaccination prevents hepatitis B. Reported cases of acute hepatitis B decreased after CDC recommended routine child vaccination in 1991. The decrease continued until 2011, levelled off, and then declined again from 2019 through 2020 likely due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

To decrease hepatitis B incidence, CDC published the 2022 universal hepatitis B adult vaccination recommendation calling for all people aged 19 through 59 years to receive hepatitis B vaccine whether they have risk factors or not.

Fast Facts about Acute Hepatitis B in 2020


The number of reported acute hepatitis B cases decreased 32% from 2019 through 2020


76% of all acute hepatitis B cases were persons aged 30-59 years

Appalachian region

States in the Appalachian region have rates of acute hepatitis B higher than the US average

Non-Hispanic White & Non-Hispanic Black

Rates of acute hepatitis B were highest among non-Hispanic White and non-Hispanic Black persons

Chronic Hepatitis B

During 2020, a total of 11,635 newly identified cases of chronic hepatitis B were reported to CDC, corresponding to a rate of 5.0 cases per 100,000 people.

The rate of newly reported chronic hepatitis B cases among Asian/Pacific Islander persons (17.6 cases per 100,000 people) was almost 12 times the rate among non-Hispanic White persons (1.5 cases per 100,000 people).

Fast Facts about Chronic Hepatitis B in 2020

During 2020, the rate of newly reported chronic hepatitis B was almost 12x higher among Asian/Pacific Islander persons than among non-Hispanic White persons

88% of newly reported chronic hepatitis B cases occurred in persons 30 years and older

Although the rate of reported acute hepatitis B was the lowest among Asian/Pacific Islander persons, the rate of newly reported chronic hepatitis B was highest among this group during 2020.

Hepatitis B Facts & Figures