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Rev Med Suisse. 2014 Mar 12;10(421):617-21.

[Hepatitis B and migrants: should we do better?].

[Article in French]


More than 5% of the world's population lives with chronic hepatitis B. Migrants, particularly asylum seekers, are mostly from middle and high endemic regions. In Switzerland, however, no systematic screening of chronic hepatitis B is proposed to them. In a resolution published in 2010 the WHO encourages vaccination, but also screening of people at risk, as well as care of infected individuals. On the basis of a study conducted in asylum seekers in the canton of Vaud, prevalence of Ac antiHBc is estimated at 42% and HBsAg at 8%. Possible screening strategies and care are discussed in the light of these data. Identifying infected migrants would give them access to medical care and therefore lower the rate of complications, as well as the transmission of the virus between migrants and the local population.

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