MARTIN S. FAVERO, Ph.D.; JAMES E. MAYNARD, M.D., Ph.D.; RONALD T. LEGER, M.S.; DONALD R. GRAHAM, M.D.; RICHARD E. DIXON, M.D.
For years patients hospitalized with viral hepatitis have been placed in two categories of isolation—enteric precautions and blood precautions. This strategy was based on the inability to differentiate between hepatitis A and B and on the assumption that feces and blood from patients with either type might be infective. It is now known that patients with hepatitis A do not pose a problem of disease transmission through direct contact with blood, and although blood of patients with hepatitis B may be infective, the virus is not transmitted via feces. The enteric route is the principal mode of transmission for hepatitis A, but maximal levels of hepatitis A virus excretion occur before the onset of jaundice. Non-A, non-B hepatitis is similar epidemiologically to hepatitis B. Thus, the major thrust for caring for patients hospitalized with viral hepatitis is toward blood precautions; the same precautions used when handling feces, urine, and excretions from all other hospitalized patients are appropriate for patients admitted with a diagnosis of hepatitis A.
FAVERO MS, MAYNARD JE, LEGER RT, GRAHAM DR, DIXON RE. Guidelines for the Care of Patients Hospitalized with Viral Hepatitis. Ann Intern Med. ;91:872–876. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-91-6-872
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1979;91(6):872-876.
Gastroenterology/Hepatology, Infectious Disease, Liver Disease, Viral Hepatitis.
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Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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