Lesson 1, Topic 1
In Progress

ABCs of Hepatitis

Dear <<Most Favored Employer Client>>:

When we talk about Hepatitis we are usually referring to viral organisms which cause inflammation of the liver.  In severe cases this can result in jaundice, cirrhosis of the liver and death.

The most common types of viral hepatitis are A, B and C.

Hepatitis A is usually contracted by consuming infected food or water.  Infection with Hepatitis A can produce abdominal symptoms, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue and jaundice, but does not result in chronic infection and most cases resolve within 2 months.  It is vaccine preventable, and especially important when traveling to parts of the world where contaminated food and water are of more concern than here at home.  The CDC does not have a recommendation for Hepatitis A vaccination for food service workers, but some restaurants do offer to their employees.

The Hepatitis B virus causes more serious disease.  It is a blood-borne pathogen, transmitted through sexual contact, sharing needles or exposure to infected bodily fluids through an accidental needle stick or other open wound.  It can become a chronic infection and lead to liver failure.

Workers exposed to bodily fluids are covered under OSHA’s Blood Borne Pathogen standard, and are required by their employers to be offered testing and/or vaccination for Hepatitis B.

This includes healthcare workers, emergency responders, morticians, first-aid personnel, correctional officers and laundry workers in hospitals and commercial laundries that service healthcare or public safety institutions, among others.

The vaccine is given as a series of three injections over a 6 month period.  And now there is a new 2-dose vaccine called HepliSav B.

Both Hep A & B vaccines are now part of the routine recommended childhood immunizations.

Hepatitis C is also a blood borne pathogen and up to 85% of cases may become chronic.  There is no vaccine for Hepatitis C but new medications are able to eradicate the disease in about half of patients.

We’re happy to discuss any of your workplace health needs, just give us a call at xxx-xxx-xxxx or email at workdocs@occmed.com

PS – Enjoy this “workplace” song – “Bad Liver and a Broken Heart” – Tom Waits

Make sure your providers are conversant in treating worker’s comp injuries – see the Occmed for Providers course to get everyone up to speed

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