Health Care Providers and Viral Hepatitis

a female clinitian

Health care providers should be vaccinated against hepatitis B and tested for hepatitis C after a potential exposure.

The delivery of health care has the potential to transmit hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) to both health-care workers and patients. Outbreaks of HBV and HCV infection have occurred in outpatient settings, hemodialysis units, long-term-care facilities, and hospitals, primarily as a result of unsafe injection practices; reuse of needles, fingerstick devices, and syringes; and other lapses in infection control. To prevent transmission of bloodborne pathogens, health-care providers should adhere to recommended standard precautions and fundamental infection-control principles, including safe injection practices and appropriate aseptic techniques.

For continued protection, CDC and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommend that health-care providers and public-safety workers with reasonably anticipated risk for exposures to blood or infectious body fluids receive the complete hepatitis B vaccine series and have their immunity documented through postvaccination testing.

Scientific Guidelines and Recommendations

Infection Control

Infection Control in Healthcare Personnel: Infrastructure and Routine Practices for Occupational Infection Prevention and Control Services

Guidelines for Environmental Infection Control in Health-Care Facilities
Recommendations of CDC and the Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee (HICPAC), MMWR 2003;52(RR-10)

Injection Safety

Occupational Health

Testing and Clinical Management of Health Care Personnel Potentially Exposed to Hepatitis C Virus — CDC Guidance, United States, 2020
MMWR 2020; 69(RR-6):1–8

CDC Recommendations for Hepatitis C Screening Among Adults — United States, 2020
MMWR 2020; 69(2);1–17

Prevention of Hepatitis B Virus Infection in the United States: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices
MMWR 2018;67(No. RR-1):1–31

CDC Guidance for Evaluating Health-Care Personnel for Hepatitis B Virus Protection and for Administering Postexposure Management
MMWR 2013; 62(RR10);1-19

National Clinicians Post-Exposure Prophylaxis Hotline (PEPline)external iconexternal icon
Hotline providing clinicians with 24-hour guidance on managing occupational exposures to HIV, viral hepatitis, and other bloodborne pathogens at 1-888-448-4911

Bloodborne Infectious Diseases: HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis B Virus, and Hepatitis C Virus
Key resources from CDC’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health

Vaccination

Prevention of Hepatitis B Virus Infection in the United States: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices
MMWR 2018;67(No. RR-1):1–31

Menu of State Healthcare Facility Hepatitis B Vaccination Laws