Needlestick transmission of hepatitis C

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) transmission following a needlestick is an important threat to health care workers. We present the case of a 29-year-old medical intern who sustained a needlestick injury from a source patient known to be infected with both human immunodeficiency virus and HCV. The case patient subsequently developed acute HCV infection. The optimal strategy for diagnosing HCV infection after occupational exposures has not been defined. At a minimum, HCV antibody and alanine aminotransferase testing should be done within several days of exposure (to assess if the health care worker is already infected with HCV) and 6 months after percutaneous, mucosal, or nonintact skin exposure to blood or infectious body fluids from an HCV-infected patient. Currently, it is not possible to prevent HCV infection after exposure. However, recent data suggest that early treatment of acute HCV infection with interferon α may be highly effective in preventing chronic HCV infection. These data underscore the importance of identifying persons with acute HCV infection and promptly referring them to experienced clinicians who can provide updated counseling and treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2406-2413
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Medical Association
Volume287
Issue number18
StatePublished - May 8 2002

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Needlestick Injuries
Hepatitis C
Hepacivirus
Virus Diseases
Delivery of Health Care
Hepatitis C Antibodies
Body Fluids
Chronic Hepatitis C
Occupational Exposure
Alanine Transaminase
Interferons
Counseling
HIV

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Needlestick transmission of hepatitis C. / Sulkowski, Mark; Ray, Stuart Campbell; Thomas, David L.

In: Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol. 287, No. 18, 08.05.2002, p. 2406-2413.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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