Hepatitis in Healthcare Settings
Hepatitis A, B, and C are viruses that are easily spread in healthcare settings. All Hepatitis viruses can cause permanent damage to the liver.
(Adapted from Hepatitis in Healthcare Settings | HAI | CDC)
Healthcare-associated hepatitis A virus (HAV) occurs infrequently.
- Spread by the fecal-oral route
- Transmission to healthcare personnel usually occurs when the source patient has unrecognized hepatitis and is fecally incontinent or has diarrhea.
Other risk factors for hepatitis A virus (HAV) transmission include:
- Eating or drinking in patient care areas
- Not washing hands after handling an infected infant
- Sharing food, beverages, or cigarettes with patients, their families, or staff members.
Hepatitis B is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV)
HBV can cause:
- Lifelong infection
- Cirrhosis (scarring) of the liver
- Liver cancer
- Liver failure, and
Hepatitis C is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV).
HCV can cause:
- Lifelong infection,
- Cirrhosis, or
- Liver cancer.
HBV and HCV spread in healthcare settings when:
- Blood or other body fluid from an infected person
- Primarily through:
- Contaminated needles
- Syringes, or
- Other sharp instruments.
The spread of HCV from one person to another in healthcare settings is rare, but can occur.