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The Emerging Epidemiology of Hepatitis B Antigen

Ann Intern Med. 1973;79(5):745-746. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-79-5-745
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When most of us were medical students, we were taught that serum hepatitis was that variety of viral hepatitis having a long incubation period and transmitted solely by blood transfusions and contaminated hypodermic needles. How it survived in the eons before the helpful invention of the hypodermic syringe was a problem left for others to speculate about. It is true that Krugman, Giles and Hammond, in their Willowbrook studies (1), upset this dogma when they isolated two different viral agents that did not confer immunity to one another, the commoner having a short incubation period and the least common, a


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