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Management of Occupational Exposures to Hepatitis C Virus Current Practice and Controversies

  • Francisco Alvarado-Ramy (a1) (a2), Miriam J. Alter (a3), William Bower (a3), David K. Henderson (a4), Annette H. Sohn (a1) (a2), Ronda L. Sinkowitz-Cochran (a1) and William R. Jarvis (a1)...


Unlike hepatitis B virus and human immunodeficiency virus, there currently are no immunization or chemoprophylactic interventions available to prevent infection after an occupational exposure to hepatitis C virus (HCV). A “Reality Check” session was held at the 4th Decennial International Conference on Nosocomial and Healthcare-Associated Infections to gather information on current practices related to management of occupational exposures to HCV, generate discussion on controversial issues, and identify areas for future research. Infection control professionals in attendance were knowledgeable in most issues addressed regarding the management of occupational exposures to HCV. Areas of controversy included the use of antiviral therapy early in the course of HCV infection and the appropriate administrative management of an HCV-infected healthcare worker.


Corresponding author

Hospital Infections Program, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Rd, Mail Stop E-68, Atlanta, GA 30333


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1.Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Recommendations for prevention and control of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and HCV-related chronic disease. MMWR 1998;47(RR-19):129.
2.Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Immunization of health care workers: recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Control Practices (ACIP) and the Hospital Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee (HICPAC). MMWR 1997;46(RR-18):142.
3.Camma, C, Almasio, P, Craxi, A. Interferon as treatment for acute hepatitis C. A meta-analysis. Dig Dis Sci 1996;41:12481255.
4.McHutchison, JG, Gordon, SC, Schiff, ER, Shiffman, ML, Lee, WM, Rustgi, VK, et al. Interferon alfa-2b alone or in combination with ribavirin as initial treatment for chronic hepatitis C. Hepatitis Interventional Therapy Group. N Engl J Med 1998;339:14851492.


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