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March 29, 2021

Bloodborne pathogens are viruses that are transmitted through blood and bodily fluids.  If you are seeking an emergency aid certificate or take an emergency first aid course online, you will learn about bloodborne pathogens and the proper personal protection equipment, or PPE, to use to protect yourself from contaminants and bacteria. Advanced first aid training online programs also go into detail on bloodborne pathogens and ways to keep yourself safe.  Here are three of the most common bloodborne pathogens:

  1. Hepatitis is one of the common bloodborne pathogens.  Hepatitis comes as type B or type C.  Both affect the liver and can be fatal for some individuals.  Type B Hepatitis attacks the liver and can cause cirrhosis, liver cancer, or liver failure.  Type C Hepatitis is a chronic infection of the liver and can result in liver disease.  Both can be transmitted by bloodborne pathogens, either by sharing needles or having infected blood though an open wound or mucous membrane area of your body.  Proper PPE, or personal protection equipment, should be used if you work in the medical field and have a high risk of being exposed to Hepatitis.
  2. HIV, or Human Immunodeficiency Virus, is another common bloodborne pathogen.  It is transmitted through blood and bodily fluids.  HIV weakens the immune systems making it difficult for your body to fight off infections.  When HIV progresses, it can become AIDS, or Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, in the latter stages.  A weakened immune system makes it difficult for your body to fight a simple common cold.  Using personal protection equipment can help protect you from exposure to HIV.
  3. VHF, or Viral Hemorrhagic Fever, is a third type of bloodborne pathogen.  VHF can affect many different organs simultaneously.  Symptoms of exposure to a VHF virus include bleeding and hemorrhaging.  Malaria, Typhoid, and Ebola are all types of VHFs, or Viral Hemorrhagic Fever, and are bloodborne pathogens.  VHF is unique from the other two types of bloodborne pathogens because you can become infected even if you don’t puncture your skin.  Many insects and rodents are carriers of VHF and being exposed to them can significantly increase your risks of infection.  Wearing protective clothing and bug spray are an example of how personal protective equipment can protect you from bloodborne pathogens that are transmitted from insects.  Emergency first aid classes and specialty courses such as wilderness first aid training all provide knowledge of bloodborne pathogens and ways to stay safe.
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