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NEW OSHA STANDARD FOR HEPATITIS B PROTECTION IN EFFECT MARCH 6

 NEW OSHA STANDARD FOR HEPATITIS B PROTECTION IN EFFECT MARCH 6
 NEW YORK, March 4 /PRNewswire/ -- New Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards go into effect Friday, March 6, requiring employers to offer, at their expense, hepatitis B vaccinations to all employees who may be occupationally at risk of infection with the potentially deadly virus.
 The OSHA regulations primarily impact healthcare workers and first line emergency responders who are likely to be exposed to blood and body fluids. However, the primary mode of hepatitis B transmission in the United States is sexual contact; household members of hepatitis B carriers may also be at risk through shared items such as razors and toothbrushes.
 The hepatitis B virus is highly contagious -- 100 times more contagious than HIV, the virus that causes AIDS -- and cases have increased 50 percent in the past 10 years, despite the availability of vaccine. Fourteen Americans die each day from hepatitis B-related illnesses such as cirrhosis and liver cancer.
 The above was issued today by SmithKline Beecham.
 -0- 3/4/92 R
 /CONTACT: Michael Seggev, 212-887-8096, or Jill Tannenbaum, 212-887-8038, or Sharyn Arnold, 215-751-7074 all for SmithKline Beecham/ CO: Occupational Safety and Health Administration ST: IN: HEA SU:


CK-KW -- NY008R -- 4859 03/04/92 10:06 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 4, 1992
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