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A recent review found that heath care workers are at a heightened risk of hepatitis C infection than the general population. When compared to people who work in other professions, health care workers showed a 60% greater likelihood of getting hepatitis C. Furthermore, individuals who worked directly with blood had almost three times the risk.
Hepatitis C is spread when blood from an infected person enters the body of a person who is not infected. Contact with blood via needle stick injuries is one of the greatest risks to health care workers. Even when using seemingly “safe” instruments, blood exposure cannot be avoided entirely, but proper infection control practices can help to reduce the risk.
These findings were published in Occupational and Environmental Medicine on October 5, 2015.