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April 27, 1984

Hepatitis B Markers in Southeast Asian Refugees

Author Affiliations

Division of Field Services Epidemiology Program Office Centers for Disease Control Office of Epidemiology Georgia Department of Human Resources Atlanta
Office of Epidemiology Georgia Department of Human Resources Atlanta

JAMA. 1984;251(16):2086. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03340400022018

To the Editor.—  We would like to extend further the observations of Barry et al1 concerning hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection in refugees from Southeast Asia. During the period July 1,1980, through May 31,1981, serum samples obtained from 849 Southeast Asian refugees in Georgia were tested by the Virology Laboratory, State of Georgia, for HBV markers—hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) and antibody to the surface antigen. These specimens, submitted by Georgia hospitals and county health departments located outside of Atlanta, represented 40% of the nearly 2,100 refugees who reportedly arrived in Georgia during the period. Specimens were obtained for the purpose of screening and not because of clinical evidence of viral hepatitis. Details concerning specific country of origin were not available for this analysis.The results of testing are shown in the Table. The prevalence of HBsAg is similar for different age groups; in contrast, the prevalence of positivity