Healthcare-associated hepatitis A virus (HAV) occurs infrequently. HAV is spread by the fecal-oral route, and transmission to healthcare personnel usually occurs when the source patient has unrecognized hepatitis and is fecally incontinent or has diarrhea. Other risk factors for hepatitis A virus (HAV) transmission that increase the risk of fecal-oral contamination such as (a) eating or drinking in patient care areas; (b) not washing hands after handling an infected infant; and (c) sharing food, beverages, or cigarettes with patients, their families, or staff members.
Hepatitis B is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV). HBV can cause lifelong infection, cirrhosis (scarring) of the liver, liver cancer, liver failure, and death. HBV is spread in healthcare settings when blood or other body fluid from an infected person enters the body of a person who is not infected. In a healthcare setting, this contact is primarily through contaminated needles, syringes, or other sharp instruments.
Hepatitis C is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV). HCV can cause lifelong infection, cirrhosis, or liver cancer. HCV is spread by contact with the blood of an infected person. The spread of HCV from one person to another in healthcare settings is rare, but can occur. In a healthcare setting, this contact is primarily through contaminated needles, syringes, or other sharp instruments.
- For more information visit CDC’s Hepatitis website.
Prevention and Control
- Exposure to Blood - What Healthcare Personnel Need to Know
Updated: July 2003 A published booklet with important information about occupational exposures to blood, the risks of infection and important measures that should occur after an exposure.
- Sterilization or disinfection of medical devices: General principles
- Sterilization or disinfection of Patient-care equipment: HIV Related
- Laundry: Washing Infected Material