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Prevention in Health Care

Female clinitianThe 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 workers should adhere to recommended standard precautions and fundamental infection-control principles, including safe injection practices and appropriate aseptic techniques.

For continued protection, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends that health care 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.

Guidelines and Recommendations

Infection Control

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)

See separate sections on:
Injection Safety

Occupational Health

Information for Healthcare Personnel Potentially Exposed to Hepatitis C Virus (HCV): Recommended Testing and Follow-up [PDF - 2 pages]
Algorithm based on current laboratory guidance, and updates the 2001 HCV testing algorithm for healthcare personnel.

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

Recommendations for Prevention and Control of Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) Infection and HCV-Related Chronic Disease
MMWR 1998;47(RR-19)

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

Occupational Safety and Health Standards: Bloodborne pathogens—Regulation 1910.1030 Link external to CDC. See the legend on right-hand side. Also the 'Policies' link in page footer and subsequent 'Website Exit Notification/Disclaimer' link.
OSHA regulations pertaining to all occupational exposures to blood or other potentially infectious materials


Hepatitis B Vaccination Guidelines for Adults [PDF - 40 pages]
ACIP recommendations; address vaccination and postvaccination testing of health care and public safety workers, MMWR 2006;55(RR-16)

Immunization of Health-Care Workers [PDF - 51 pages]
Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and the Hospital Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee (HICPAC), MMWR 1997;56(RR-16)

State Immunization Laws for Health care Workers and Patients
Searchable database of state immunization laws

Program Resources

Hepatitis C Investigation in a Las Vegas, Nevada Endoscopy Clinic

Related Pages