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MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2003 Sep 26;52(38):901-6.

Transmission of hepatitis B and C viruses in outpatient settings--New York, Oklahoma, and Nebraska, 2000-2002.


Transmission of hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) can occur in health-care settings from percutaneous or mucosal exposures to blood or other body fluids from an infected patient or health-care worker. This report summarizes the investigation of four outbreaks of HBV and HCV infections that occurred in outpatient health-care settings. The investigation of each outbreak suggested that unsafe injection practices, primarily reuse of syringes and needles or contamination of multiple-dose medication vials, led to patient-to-patient transmission. To prevent transmission of bloodborne pathogens, all health-care workers should adhere to recommended standard precautions and fundamental infection-control principles, including safe injection practices and appropriate aseptic techniques.

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