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Hepatitis Viruses

Hepatitis B and C are much more contagious than AIDS...

...and every bit as lethal! To protect ourselves, our employees, and our patients, we must forget the shortcuts and follow ALL the infection control recommendations listed on page 8 of this course:

  • Guideline for hand hygiene in health care settings
  • OSHA-mandated universal precautions
  • CDC-recommended standard precautions
  • Guideline for infection control in dental health care settings
  • Preventing needlestick injuries in health care settings
  • Guideline for selection and use of disinfectants

Health departments, state dental boards, and juries have been and will continue to hold us responsible. So stay out of trouble with our newly revised, updated hepatitis virus manual for dental office workers and learn what not to do when you hear of or see signs of hepatitis, what you should tell the patient, and what postexposure prophylaxis steps to take should they be needed.

Hepatitis Viruses

How to know what to order? This course comes as a booklet with the course and test all in one so you are only paying to take the test.  If you would like to receive an electronic copy of the booklet/test then choose our PDF email option! Would you rather receive a hard copy in the mail? Then choose the book/test option. Email courses will take their test online while those that choose the hard copy can either mail their test back in the envelop we provide for grading OR take your test right online for immediate grading.

Hepatitis Viruses

Hepatitis Viruses
(book and test) Traditional Hardcopy

4 Hours     $35.00

Hepatitis Viruses
(PDF and test by email) Online Only

4 Hours     $35.00

Last reviewed: April 1, 2016
Expires: April 1, 2019

Hepatitis Viruses

About the Authors

Susan Sirota Ganz, MD, is Associate Professor of Clinical Surgery at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Department of Surgery, Life Alliance Organ Recovery Agency in Miami, Florida. Her responsibilities include recovery of organs for transplantation, pathology assessment of donated organs, quality assurance, and research. She is also assistant director of the transplant monitoring laboratory and an attending physician at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, Florida.

Dr. Ganz earned her BS degree in biology at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, in 1975; her MS degree in genetics at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Yeshiva University, Bronx, New York, in 1978; and her MD at the University of Vermont College of Medicine, Burlington, Vermont, in 1983. Following her residency at the University of Miami Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, Florida, she worked at the American Red Cross in Miami, Florida, under a Blood Banking/Transfusion Medicine Fellowship. She is currently board certified in anatomic and clinical pathology and in blood banking.

Her research efforts concentrate on methods to increase numbers of organ donors and numbers of organs recovered for transplantation from individual donors. She is the principal investigator for studies aimed at improving the recovery of lungs for transplantation and for studies aimed at improving the numbers of people who donate organs.

Hepatitis Viruses

Course Objectives

When you complete this course, you will take a written or online test that measures your ability to identify:

  1. Vital functions performed by the liver.
  2. Groups of people at high risk for infection with hepatitis viruses
  3. Major characteristics and transmission routes of five types of viral hepatitis.
  4. Common signs and symptoms of different types of viral hepatitis, and prognoses for these diseases.
  5. Preventive measures against each type of viral hepatitis.
  6. Patient counseling procedures for specific types of viral hepatitis.
  7. Hepatitis-related serologic markers and diagnostic tests for these markers.
  8. Current treatments for viral hepatitis, and new treatments under development.

Hepatitis Viruses

Table of Contents

When you complete this course, you will take a written or online test that measures your ability to identify:

  • Chapter 1 Introduction
    Vital Functions of the Liver
    Types of Hepatitis Viruses
    Reported Acute Hepatitis Cases
    Viral Hepatitis Characteristics
  • Chapter 2 Health Care
    Worker Concerns
    Vaccination
    Infection Control Procedures
    Patient Evaluation & Education
    Infected Health Care Workers
    Medication/Drug Considerations
    Liver Transplants
  • Chapter 3 Hepatitis A
    Epidemiology
    HAV Transmission
    Clinical Features
    HAV Infection and Diagnosis
    Treatment
    Prevention of HAV Infection
    Postexposure Care
    Infection Control
    Safety Precautions
  • Chapter 4 Hepatitis B
    Epidemiology
    HBV Transmission
    Clinical Features
    HBV Infection and Diagnosis
    Treatment
    Prevention of HBV Infection
    Postexposure Care
    Infection Control
    Safety Precautions
  • Chapter 5 Hepatitis C
    Epidemiology
    HCV Transmission
    Clinical Features
    HCV Infection and Diagnosis
    Treatment
    Prevention of Hepatitis C
    Infection Control
    Safety Precautions
  • Chapter 6 Hepatitis D
    Epidemiology
    HDV Transmission
    Clinical Features
    HDV Infection and Diagnosis
    Treatment
    Prevention of Hepatitis D
    Infection Control
    Safety Precautions
  • Chapter 7 Hepatitis E
    Epidemiology
    HEV Transmission
    Clinical Features
    HEV Infection and Diagnosis
    Treatment
    Prevention of Hepatitis E
    Infection Control
    Safety Precautions
  • Chapter 8 Future Developments
    Hepatitis A
    Hepatitis B
    Hepatitis C
    Hepatitis D
    Hepatitis E
    Progress in the Making

    Definitions
    Index
    Information Sources
    Reference List

Hepatitis Viruses

Hepatitis Virus B

Many persons infected with hepatitis B virus (HBV) have no signs or symptoms and thus do not realize they have an infectious disease that can be transmitted to others. As a result, the threat of HBV infection to susceptible health care workers and other persons is still a very serious health problem, despite the fact that the numbers of new hepatitis B cases have been declining in recent years in the United States.

Epidemiology
Worldwide, an estimated 350 to 400 million persons are believed to have chronic (long-standing) hepatitis B. In the United States alone, an estimated 1.25 million persons are infected with HBV and are capable of infecting other persons.

High-risk groups. Although it is important to remember that many low-risk persons can become infected, no risk factor can be identified for many reported acute (self-limited) hepatitis B cases. However, in a recent year, when a definite risk factor was known, cases fell into the following CDC categories:

  1. More than one sex partner: cases.
  2. Illegal injection drug use: cases.
  3. Sexual or household contact with a hepatitis B patient: cases.
  4. Male homosexual activity: cases.
  5. Surgery: cases.
  6. Needlestick or other skin injury: cases.
  7. Hemodialysis or blood transfusion: cases.
  8. Medical employee with blood contact, other than surgical, needlestick, or skin injuries: 11 cases.

Deaths. Worldwide, more than 520,000 people die as a result of chronic hepatitis B each year. In the United States alone, an estimated 5,000 persons die each year from chronic liver disease caused by hepatitis B.

Conversely, the number of U.S. deaths caused by acute hepatitis B is relatively low. Deaths reported to be due to acute hepatitis B currently number about 35, and the majority of the victims are age 40 or older.

HBV Transmission
High HBV concentrations have been found in blood, blood products, and body fluids containing visible blood (e.g., bloody saliva, bloody respiratory secretions, and menstrual fluids). HBV has also been found in bile, feces, cerebrospinal fluid, and synovial fluid, but usually in low concentrations.

Transmission via injections or cuts. Because blood contains the highest HBV concentrations, it is the most common substance in which the virus is transmitted in health care settings. Needlesticks and other sharp implement injuries can allow HBV-containing substances to be injected or absorbed into the skin. In clinical settings, these injuries most often occur during the use of hollow-bore needles filled with blood, but other types of sharps are involved as well.

A small cut or break in the skin, a dermatitis, or even a hangnail can also provide an opening for HBV infection. Health care workers should wear gloves whenever they might touch any patient body substance, except sweat. For dental professionals, the primary source of HBV infection is bloody saliva.

HBV is still often transmitted by use of contaminated needles during illegal injection drug use. The virus can also enter the blood when people nick themselves with a borrowed HBV-contaminated razor, experience gum bleeding while using a borrowed HBV-contaminated toothbrush, or undergo ear piercing, tattooing, or acupuncture with HBV-contaminated instruments.

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