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Hepatitis B virus, hepatitis C virus and other blood-borne infections in healthcare workers: guidelines for prevention and management in industrialised countries
  1. D FitzSimons1,
  2. G François2,
  3. G De Carli3,
  4. D Shouval4,
  5. A Prüss-Üstün5,
  6. V Puro3,
  7. I Williams6,
  8. D Lavanchy7,
  9. A De Schryver8,
  10. A Kopka9,
  11. F Ncube10,
  12. G Ippolito3,
  13. P Van Damme2
  1. 1
    World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland
  2. 2
    Viral Hepatitis Prevention Board, WHO Collaborating Centre for Prevention and Control of Viral Hepatitis, Department of Epidemiology and Social Medicine, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium
  3. 3
    Department of Epidemiology, Istituto Nazionale per le Malattie Infettive IRCCS ‘Lazzaro Spallanzani’, Rome, Italy
  4. 4
    Liver Unit, Hadassah-Hebrew University Hospital, University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel
  5. 5
    Protection of the Human Environment, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland
  6. 6
    Division of Viral Hepatitis, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA
  7. 7
    Global Alert and Response, Department of Communicable Diseases Surveillance and Response, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland
  8. 8
    IDEWE Occupational Health Services, Leuven, Belgium
  9. 9
    Department of Anaesthesia, Southern General Hospital, Glasgow, UK
  10. 10
    HIV/STI Department, Health Protection Agency (HPA), Centre for Infection, London, UK
  1. Dr G François, Department of Epidemiology and Social Medicine, University of Antwerp, Universiteitsplein 1, BE-2610 Antwerp, Belgium; guido.francois{at}ua.ac.be

Abstract

The Viral Hepatitis Prevention Board (VHPB) convened a meeting of international experts from the public and private sectors in order to review and evaluate the epidemiology of blood-borne infections in healthcare workers, to evaluate the transmission of hepatitis B and C viruses as an occupational risk, to discuss primary and secondary prevention measures and to review recommendations for infected healthcare workers and (para)medical students. This VHPB meeting outlined a number of recommendations for the prevention and control of viral hepatitis in the following domains: application of standard precautions, panels for counselling infected healthcare workers and patients, hepatitis B vaccination, restrictions on the practice of exposure-prone procedures by infected healthcare workers, ethical and legal issues, assessment of risk and costs, priority setting by individual countries and the role of the VHPB. Participants also identified a number of terms that need harmonisation or standardisation in order to facilitate communication between experts.

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Footnotes

  • Funding and competing interests: The Viral Hepatitis Prevention Board is supported by unrestricted educational grants from the pharmaceutical industry (GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals, Sanofi Pasteur MSD), several European universities and other institutions.

  • This article was written on behalf of the Viral Hepatitis Prevention Board (VHPB) (www.vhpb.org). A group of experts was convened and met at the Istituto Nazionale per le Malattie Infettive ‘Lazzaro Spallanzani,’ Rome, Italy, on 17–18 March 2005, to review and evaluate the global epidemiology of blood-borne infections in healthcare workers, to evaluate the transmission of hepatitis B and C viruses as an occupational risk, to discuss primary and secondary prevention measures, and to review recommendations for infected healthcare workers and (para)medical students. Participants were: Selim Badur, Turkey; Paolo Bonanni, Italy; Gabriella De Carli, Italy; Antoon De Schryver, Belgium; Nedret Emiroğlu, Denmark; David FitzSimons, Switzerland; Annarosa Floreani, Italy; Guido François, Belgium; Susan Goldstein, USA; Peter Grob, Switzerland; Andrew Hall, UK; Johannes Hallauer, Germany; Giuseppe Ippolito, Italy; Tessa James, Belgium; Wolfgang Jilg, Germany; Andreas Kopka, UK; Daniel Lavanchy, Switzerland; André Meheus, Belgium; Fortune Ncube, UK; Isabel Pachón, Spain; Lidia Proietti, Italy; Annette Prüss-Üstün, Switzerland; Vincenzo Puro, Italy; Françoise Roudot-Thoraval, France; Kirsty Roy, UK; Daniel Shouval, Israel; Sarah Tomkins, UK; Pierre Van Damme, Belgium; Annemiek van der Eijk, the Netherlands; Alex Vorsters, Belgium; Steven Wiersma, Switzerland; Ian Williams, USA; Yazdan Yazdanpanah, France; Alessandro Zanetti, Italy.

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