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July 9, 1982

An Outbreak of Hepatitis B in Members of a High School Sumo Wrestling Club

Author Affiliations

From the First Departments of Internal Medicine, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan (Drs Kashiwagi, Hayashi, Ikematsu, Nishigori, and Ishihara); and Kurume University, Kurume, Japan (Dr Kaji).

JAMA. 1982;248(2):213-214. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03330020057030

SPREAD of hepatitis B virus (HBV) is due mainly to exposure to previously contaminated needles or infected blood, and transmission is also fostered by close contact with persons who are viremic with HBV. Although it is well recognized that chronic HBV carriers are the source of HBV in ongoing chains of infection, an exact mechanism of person-to-person transmission of HBV has not yet been clarified.

We report an outbreak of hepatitis B in which the source of infection was traced to a sumo wrestler with HBV, and the transmission of the virus was due to skin contact while wrestling.

Hepatitis B Outbreak  In a one-year period (February 1979 to January 1980), hepatitis developed in five of ten members of a high school sumo wrestling club in Nakatsu City, Oita prefecture, Japan.Hepatitis developed in the first patient in mid-February 1979. The second case developed on July 3,1979, and the third