NEW YORK, Aug 8 (Praxis Press) Firefighters, emergency medical technicians, and paramedics may be exposed to bloodborne pathogens in their lines of work. In response to concerns about hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection rates among such workers, the Centers for Disease Control evaluated the findings of studies in 4,433 first responders. Data from four major city health organizations and the Department of Public Health and Addiction Services of Connecticut was used. The prevalence of HCV infection in first responders was similar to the prevalence in the general population. Positive HCV test results in first responders were not associated with occupational exposure to blood or duration of employment as a first responder, but were associated in some studies with nonoccupational factors (previous blood transfusion, illicit drug use, and a history of sexually transmitted disease). Under routine occupational conditions and in the absence of percutaneous or permucosal exposure to blood,...

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