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Prevention of Nosocomial Viral Hepatitis, Type B (Hepatitis B)

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▸ Requests for reprints should be addressed to John A. Bryan, M.D., Deputy Director, Viral Diseases Division, Bureau of Epidemiology, Center for Disease Control, Atlanta, GA 30333.

Ann Intern Med. 1975;83(6):838-845. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-83-6-838
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Nosocomial viral hepatitis, type B, is assuming increasing importance in the United States. The keystone to an effective hepatitis control program is surveillance of patients and personnel, especially in high-risk areas, namely dialysis units, hematology-oncology units, and laboratories. Measures to control infection are outlined for specific areas of the hospital. Data currently available suggest that employees who have persisting hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) need not be removed from their positions unless they have been proved to disseminate infection. Future investigations should include methods to study: [a] the mechanisms of non percutaneous spread of hepatitis B virus, [b] the role of the individual with persisting HBsAg in the dissemination of hepatitis B virus, [c] the efficacy of hepatitis B immune globulin in high-risk areas, and [d] the effectiveness of various chemical and physical procedures in use for inactivation of hepatitis B virus using animal model systems.





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