Recommendations are made for controlling the transmission of the hepatitis B and hepatitis C viruses from healthcare workers to patients. These recommendations were based both on the literature and on experts' opinions, obtained during a Consensus Conference. The quality of the published information and of the experts' opinions was classified into 6 levels, based on the source of the information. The recommendations can be summarised as follows: all healthcare workers must undergo hepatitis B virus vaccination and adopt the standard measures for infection control in hospitals; healthcare workers who directly perform invasive procedures must undergo serological testing and the evaluation of markers of viral infection. Those found to be positive for: 1) HBsAg and HBeAg, 2) HBsAg and hepatitis B virus DNA, or 3) anti-hepatitis C virus and hepatitis C virus RNA must abstain from directly performing invasive procedures; no other limitations in their activities are necessary. Infected healthcare workers are urged to inform their patients of their infectious status, although this is left to the discretion of the healthcare worker, whose privacy is guaranteed by law. If exposure to hepatitis B virus occurs, the healthcare worker must undergo prophylaxis with specific immunoglobulins, in addition to vaccination.
- Hepatitis B virus
- Hepatitis C virus infection
- Professional transmission to patient
- Risk management
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