Do You Know How Long Hepatitis C can remain Infectious?
Recent studies indicate that hepatitis C can remain infectious at room temperatures for up to 6-weeks. Is your practice following the latest infection control guidelines for infection control? CDC also reveals that approximately 3-million adults in the U.S. are infected with hepatitis C virus, particularly the Baby Boomers (born from 1945 through 1965). Of the individuals who are infected, 3 out of 4 have no idea they have it. Once infected, 8 out of 10 people remain infected for life. These numbers are staggering.
In order to determine if you have hepatitis C, CDC recommends a screening blood test, called an antibody test. If the test is positive, a follow up RNA blood test is needed to see if a person is still infected with the hepatitis C virus. CDC recommends the follow groups to be tested for hepatitis C:
- born from 1945 to 1965
- received blood products with clotting factor before 1987
- have received blood transfusion or organ transplant before July 1992
- Have ever injected drugs, even if only one time
- Have HIV
- Have been on kidney dialysis for several years
- Are health or public safety workers who have been stuck with a needle or other sharp object
- With blood from a person with hepatitis C or unknown hepatitis C status
- Born to mother with hepatitis C
Source: CDC Recommendations 1998, 1999 and 2012
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