Journal Article

Viral Hepatitis Transmission in Ambulatory Health Care Settings

I. T. Williams, J. F. Perz and B. P. Bell

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 38, issue 11, pages 1592-1598
Published in print June 2004 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online June 2004 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/420935
Viral Hepatitis Transmission in Ambulatory Health Care Settings

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In the United States, transmission of viral hepatitis from health care—related exposures is uncommon and primarily recognized in the context of outbreaks. Transmission is typically associated with unsafe injection practices, as exemplified by several recent outbreaks that occurred in ambulatory health care settings. To prevent transmission of bloodborne pathogens, health care workers must adhere to standard precautions and follow fundamental infection-control principles, including safe injection practices and appropriate aseptic techniques. These principles and practices need to be made explicit in institutional policies and reinforced through in-service education for all personnel involved in direct patient care, including those in ambulatory care settings. The effectiveness of these measures should be monitored as part of the oversight process. In addition, prompt reporting of suspected health care—related cases coupled with appropriate investigation and improved monitoring of surveillance data are needed to accurately characterize and prevent health care—related transmission of viral hepatitis.

Journal Article.  5605 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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