Monday, December 23, 2013

CDC Issues Guidance on Hepatitis B Virus Protection Among Healthcare Workers

New guidance on hepatitis B virus protection among healthcare workers, including detailed recommendations on postexposure management, have been published in MMWR.

The guidelines stress the importance of hepatitis B vaccination of all workers with a "reasonably anticipated risk for exposure" to body fluids or blood; a complete vaccine series, including at least three doses, should be given. After vaccination, workers should be tested for antibody to hepatitis B surface antigen to determine whether they might need another dose of vaccine; once immune, no further testing is necessary in immunocompetent workers.

Among the other highlights of the document: a helpful table on postexposure management of personnel after percutaneous and mucosal exposure to blood and body fluids, according to workers' hepatitis B vaccination and vaccine response status.

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