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J Hosp Infect. 2001 Dec;49(4):239-44.

Prevalence, genotype distribution and outcome of hepatitis C infections among the employees of the Hungarian Central Hospital for infectious diseases.

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Laboratory for Diagnostic Virology, Central Hospital for Infectious Diseases "St. László", Budapest, Hungary.


Blood samples from 477 hospital workers (HWs) at the Central Hospital for Infectious Diseases, Budapest, Hungary were tested for hepatitis C virus (HCV) antibodies by enzyme immunoassay (EIA), and 13 (2.7%) of these were found to be HCV antibody positive. Ten (2.7%) were from nursing/housekeeping staff and three (2.9%) from medical staff. HCV antibody positive HWs were detected in 10 of 17 work places, and the prevalence rates in these departments or units varied between 1.2% and 6.5%. The prevalence increased gradually with increasing age, being 0% in these under 21 years of age and 9.5% in those above 50 years of age. Eleven (85%) of 13 HCV antibody positive HWs had HCV RNA in their sera, four of them intermittently during the follow-up period. HCV genotype 1 was present in two HWs, 1b in six HWs, 3a in one HW and 4 in two HWs. Chronic hepatitis C has developed in six (46%) HCV antibody positive HWs. Although the source of infection through needlestick could only be traced directly in one case, circumstantial evidence indicated that the majority of infections were occupationally acquired, originating from percutaneous or mucocutaneous exposure.

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