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Nurses risk acquiring blood-borne virus infection.

Hepatitis viruses including B (HBV) and C (HCV) are some of the many occupational infectious blood-borne pathogens for which healthcare workers (HCWs) are at risk. Kew and colleagues6 did a follow-up study 10 years after it was shown that 30.6% of nurses in an academic hospital in Johannesburg were positive for anti-HB, indicating resistance to HBV. At the time of the first study recommendations were made for a cost-effective approach to the prevention and management of viral hepatitis. A decade later, at most 52.4% of the nurses are now protected against HBV infection. A high HBV infection rate and low vaccine coverage among HCWs including nurses has also been documented in Kenya and Albania. Nurses therefore remain at high risk of work-related HBV infection.


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Title Annotation:Editor's Choice
Publication:South African Medical Journal
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:6KENY
Date:Mar 1, 2012
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