Those guidelines are continuously updated and can be

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Unformatted text preview: re posted on the CDC website (see Internet Resource page). Those guidelines are continuously updated and can be very effective. Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) can greatly reduce the risk of transmission and should be started within two hours of exposure. Hepatitis C Lately, Hepatitis C, caused by HCV, has become a great concern for nurses. Hepatitis C is a serious disease of the liver and can be fatal. HCV was not identified until 1989; before that it was referred to as non-A, non-B hepatitis virus. Since the method to test for Hepatitis C in blood products was not developed until 1992, people who received blood products before 1992 might have been exposed to HCV. Testing for Hepatitis C after 6 needlestick injuries was not recommended by the CDC until 1998 (CDC, 1998). Even after that, many health care workers were unaware of the need to be tested for Hepatitis C. There could be thousands of nurses with occupationally-acquired Hepatitis C who simply do not know it. It is a silent epidemic. Transmission: • • • HCV is primarily spread by exposure to infected blood, via IV drug use, occupational needlestick and shar...
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