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Frequently Asked Questions Hepatitis C Virus …

Frequently Asked Questions . Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) and California Health Care Workers (HCWs) Are there any workplace restrictions for HCWs with chronic hepatitis

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Frequently Asked Questions Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) and California Health Care Workers (HCWs) Is routine testing of HCWs for hepatitis C recommended? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not recommend routine testing of healthcare workers (HCWs) for hepatitis C infection unless they have a known exposure to the hep-atitis C virus (HCV).1 For more information on groups otherwise recommended for HCV testing see: The Screening Toolkit for Primary Care: Hepatitis B and C: Whom to Test : I just had a needlestick, or other occupational exposure to blood, what should I do? If you experienced a needlestick or sharps injury or were exposed to blood or body fluid of a patient in the course of your work, immediately follow these steps2: Wash needlesticks and cuts with soap and water Flush splashes to the nose, mouth, or skin with water Irrigate eyes with clean water, saline, or sterile irrigants Report the incident to your supervisor Seek prompt counseling with your Employee/ Occupational Health Service Medical providers with questions about appropriate medical treatment for occupational exposures maycontact the Clinicians Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) Line at (888) antibody and HCV ribonucleic ace (RNA) test are recommended after exposure. Pre-exposure or post-exposure prophylaxis with antiviral therapy is not recommended. Infected persons should be linked to care with a hepatitis C experienced The employee s supervisor should report this event on a Sharps Injury Log What is the risk for hepatitis C infection from a needlestick exposure to HCV contaminated blood? After a needlestick or sharps exposure to HCV positive blood, about 2 percent of those exposed will develop hepatitis C How soon after exposure to hepatitis C will I know if I have been in-fected? HCV can be detected within three weeks of According to CDC, HCV has an incubation period of 14 to 180 days, with an average of 45 Following an exposure incident6: The source should be tested for hepatitis C antibody (anti-HCV) For the person exposed to HCV-positive blood: perform baseline testing for anti-HCV and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) activity; and perform follow-up testing for anti-HCV and ALT activity at four-six months. If earlier diagnosis ofHCV infection is desired, HCV RNA testing may be performed at 6, 12, and 24 weeks. Positive anti-HCV results should be confirmed by a sensitive HCV RNA I have to tell my patients that I have chronic hepatitis C infection? Routine notification of patients treated by HCWs living with chronic hepatitis C infection is not recom-mended in the absence of a documented exposure In the event that a patient is parenter-ally exposed (through the skin, muscle, vein, or mucous membrane) to the body fluids of an HCV infected HCW, the patient should be I am a HCW with chronic hepatitis C infection, should I get treated? The American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) and the Infectious Diseases So-ciety of America (IDSA) recommend treatment of HCWs with chronic hepatitis C Treat-ment with antiviral medications allow hepatitis C infection to be cured in as little as 8 to 12 weeks with few side effects. Prepared by the California Department of Public Health, February 2016. Information is current as of September 2015. Frequently Asked Questions Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) and California Health Care Workers (HCWs) Are there any workplace restrictions for HCWs with chronic hepatitis C infection? There are no restrictions for HCWs with chronic hepatitis C infection. CDC does not recommend ex-clusion from work, school, or other settings due to hepatitis C As recommended for all HCWs, those who have hepatitis C infection should follow standa rd precautions, including appropri-ate hand washing, use of steri le technique and protective barr iers, and care in the use of needles and other sharp I hav e to tell my current or futur e employers if I have chro nic hep-atitis C infection? In California, HCWs are not required to disclose their chronic hepatitis C infection as a prerequisite for employment. California law incorporates the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 and establishes independent grounds for prohibiting discrimination against disabled persons, including those living with chronic viral hepatitis infection. California law prohibits an em-ployer from denying employment because of a physical disability, mental disability, or a medical ,8 In work environments that require medical screening of employees, the employer may only require the medical screening after hiring the employee, and the medical exam performed must be required of every employee in the same type of What can I do if I think I may have been subject to discrimination for having chronic hepatitis C in my workplace, housing, or school? California law prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability, wh ich includes ,8 Individuals who believe they have been discriminated against or denied employment or othe r ac-commodations due to pa st or present infection with viral hepatitis may conta ct the Department of Fair Housing and Employment via their website ( ) or at (800) 884-1684 or TTY at (800) 700-2320. Disclaimer This document seeks to introduce the reader to federal and state policies and recommendations per-taining to HCV and HCWs. It is not intended to address all aspects of labor or disability policy or to offer legal or medical advice. Although current at the time of publication, policies and recommenda-tions change. Federal and state policies should be consulted directly for more detailed information. References 1 Hepatitis C FAQs for Health Professionals. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Accessed September 17, 2015. 2 Emergency Needlestick Information. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Accessed September 17, 2015. 3 Hepatitis C Guidance: Recommendations for Testing, Managing, and Treating Hepatitis C. American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases website. Accessed September 17, 2015. 4 Occupational Safety and Health Administration. OSHA 29 CFR : Bloodborne Pathogens. Published April 3, 2012. Accessed August 26, 2015. 5 The ABCs of Hepatitis. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Accessed September 17, 2015. 6 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Updated Public Health Service Guidelines for the Management of Occupational Exposures to HBV, HCV, and HIV and Recommendations for Postexposure Prophylaxis. MMWR. 2001; 50(RR11): 1-46. Accessed August 26, 2015. 7 California Government Code Section 12940. Accessed August 26, 2015. 8 Fair Employment and Housing Act. California Department of Fair Employment and Housing website. by the California Department of Public Health, February 2016. Information is current as of September 2015.

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