Data are insufficient to estimate the occupational risk of HCV infection among HCP, but the majority of studies indicate the prevalence of HCV infection among dentists, surgeons, and hospital-based HCP is similar to that among the general population, approximately 1%-2%. In a study that evaluated risk factors for infection, a history of unintentional needlesticks was the only occupational risk factor independently associated with HCV infection.
No studies of transmission from HCV-infected DHCP to patients have been reported, and the risk for such transmission appears limited. Multiple reports have been published describing transmission from HCV-infected surgeons, which apparently occurred during performance of invasive procedures; the overall risk for infection averaged 0.17% (87-90).” There is no vaccine available for HCV.
Kathy Eklund, RDH, MHP, serves on OSAP’s Executive Board of Directors and suggested that readers of RDH eVillage FOCUS consider participating in OSAP’s special symposium June 5-8 in Minneapolis. The agenda includes speakers from the CDC, as well as other national and international infection control experts who will address the most current information available on guidelines, regulations, practices and products. The symposium is especially targeted to hygienists and others who lecture, teach or write about infection control or who are responsible for this critical function in their facility.
Information on the symposium and other infection control resources on the website.(10)