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The hepatitis B virus (HBV) essay Essay

The hepatitis B virus (HBV) can be transmitted not only though semen and vaginal secretions, but through contaminated blood, sweat, tears, saliva, and breast milk as well (Wilson and Esters 306). Pam has a valid reason to want her son vaccinated, as clearly this virus can be transmitted through modes other than sexual transmission.

Older children and adults infected with HBV will often clear the virus within four months. Younger children and infants, on the other hand, often remain chronically infected with the virus. Chronic infection can lead to cirrhosis, liver failure, and even death (Bernstein 237).

Although restaurants cannot account for all cases of HBV transmission, there have been several instances where restaurants have been the culprit. For example, in November 2003 in Monaco, Pennsylvania, 601 victims were reported to have been infected with HPV after eating at a single restaurant. Of the 601 reported victims, 124 were hospitalized, and three died (Greenberg 96).

Although the benefits clearly outweigh the risks, a great deal of controversy still surrounds the use of vaccines in contemporary society. Immediate side effects of vaccination include pain and swelling at the injection site, mild headache and fatigue. However, many opponents blame vaccinations as the cause of much

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more serious disorders such as autism, ADHD, and speech and language delay (Stratton 152). The evidence is non-definitive and inconclusive at this point int time. In response to the safety of vaccines, The Public Health committee recommends the use of thimerosal-free HBV vaccines in the United States. Besides thimerosal (a mercury-containing preservative), vaccines have also been found to contain aluminum salts or gels, antibiotics, egg protein, formaldehyde, and monosodium glutamate (MSG) (Stratton 156).

Works Cited Page

Wilson, John W, and Lynn Esters. Mayo Clinic Antimicrobial Therapy: Quick Guide. London:        Informa Healthcare, 2008. Print.

Bernstein, Ellen. Medical and Health Annual. Encyclopedia Britannica, 1996. Print.

Greenberg, Michael I. Encyclopedia of Terrorist, Natural, and Man-Made Disasters. Sudbury: Jones and Bartlett Publishers, 2006. Print.

Stratton, Kathleen R. Immunization Safety Review: Influenza Vaccines and Neurological Complications. Washington: The National Academic Press, 2004. Print.

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