Bloodborne Pathogens: Myths vs Facts

Bloodborne pathogens are very real and can be transmitted through even the smallest cut or abrasion on your skin. There are several myths about bloodborne pathogens that make it hard for people to understand how they're spread and how to prevent them from happening in the first place. In this post, we'll discuss some of these myths and set the record straight on what you need to know about preventing infection when working with blood and other bodily fluids in a healthcare setting.

Myth: Bloodborne pathogens are rare.

You may think that bloodborne pathogens are rare, but they're actually more common than you think. In fact, the prevalence of bloodborne pathogens is higher in healthcare settings than in other places.

The rate of exposure to bloodborne pathogens is also higher among certain populations and occupations. For example:

  • People who work with animals (e.g., veterinarians) are at risk for exposure to zoonotic diseases such as rabies and Marburg virus infection from working with infected animals or their tissues (such as brain tissue).
  • Healthcare workers are exposed to increased risk because they come into contact with patients' bodily fluids during procedures like surgery or dialysis treatment--and those fluids may contain viruses like HIV or hepatitis B virus (HBV).

Myth: There's a vaccine for AIDS.

Myth: There's a vaccine for AIDS.

Fact: There is no vaccine for AIDS. However, there is a vaccine available to prevent hepatitis B and it can be used as part of an HIV prevention strategy.

HIV is not a virus; it's actually a type of retrovirus called Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). Unlike other viruses that use the body's cells to reproduce themselves, retroviruses use their own genetic material to multiply in human DNA before destroying those cells. This makes them difficult to treat with traditional antiviral medications because they don't have any proteins that can be targeted by drugs or antibodies like most other viruses do; however, some scientists believe there may be an effective treatment one-day using gene therapy techniques such as CRISPR/Cas9 editing technology which could potentially disable parts of the genome responsible for replicating itself within tissue cells without harming normal tissues nearby just like any other healthy cell would function normally without being affected by this treatment option at all!

Fact: The bloodborne pathogens  standard include HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C.

The  bloodborne pathogen standard covers HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C. It also covers other diseases such as tuberculosis (TB). Some of these diseases are not included in the standard; however, they still pose a threat to workers and should be addressed by employers. Diseases that are not included in this standard but still pose a threat include MRSA scabies and conjunctivitis (pink eye).

Myth: You can't get HIV from spitting or biting someone.

  • Myth: You can't get HIV from spitting or biting someone.
  • Fact: Although the risk of transmission through contact with saliva and other body fluids is low, it's still possible to contract HIV if you are exposed to infected blood. However, you will not become infected if someone spits on you or bites your skin without breaking the surface.
  • Myth: You can't catch hepatitis B from casual contact like shaking hands or hugging a friend who has it.
  • Fact: The risk of contracting hepatitis B (HBV) is very low for most people but may be higher for those at the highest risk--for example, those who have multiple sexual partners or share needles for injecting drugs; these individuals should take precautions such as using condoms during sexual intercourse and never sharing razors or toothbrushes with others who have HBV infection because these items may contain traces of blood that could transmit HBV if they were shared with an infected person

Myth: You have to have sex to get an STI.

  • You can get an STI from skin-to-skin contact.
  • You can get an STI from oral sex.
  • You can get an STI from anal sex.
  • You can get an STI from vaginal sex.
  • Getting an STI from having sex can lead to fertility issues and cancer, among other diseases and illnesses (such as blindness).

Myth: Hepatitis B looks like measles and is easily spread through casual contact.

Myth: Hepatitis B looks like measles and is easily spread through casual contact.

Fact: Hepatitis B is a serious disease that can be transmitted by blood or other bodily fluids, including sexual contact, sharing needles, or from mother to child. It can also be transmitted through saliva and urine.

Hepatitis B causes inflammation of the liver and has no cure as of yet; however, it can be prevented with vaccines (HBV) and treatment with interferon gamma-1b (HBIG). The vaccine prevents infection with hepatitis B virus in 90% of people who receive three doses over six months' time.[1]

Hepatitis B is transmitted when infected blood or other bodily fluids enter open sores or cuts or mucous membranes of an uninfected person.

Myth: You can get hepatitis B by being exposed to infected blood or other bodily fluids.

Fact: You must be exposed to infected blood or other bodily fluids that contain the virus in order to contract hepatitis B. This can occur during sex with someone who has the disease or if you receive a blood transfusion with contaminated material.

It is possible for an uninfected person who contracts hepatitis B to pass it along through sexual contact, but this is uncommon and requires direct exposure (e.g., having unprotected sex) with someone who has active symptoms of the illness. The risk of transmission decreases significantly once an individual has been diagnosed with chronic infection; however, it does not completely disappear until after 10 years have passed since the initial diagnosis.[1]

If you're at risk for contracting hepatitis B and haven't been vaccinated yet, talk with your doctor about getting one shot now and another later on in your life when you're older (sometimes they recommend waiting until at least age 18).

The incubation period is the time between when you are infected and when you show symptoms. The hepatitis B incubation period can be between 7 and 180 days (on average, it takes about 6 months but can take up to 2 years) so you won't know if you've been infected right away. If you're at risk for contracting hepatitis B and haven't been vaccinated yet, talk with your doctor about getting one shot now and another later on in your life when you're older (sometimes they recommend waiting until at least age 18).

Conclusion

If you are at risk for contracting hepatitis B and haven't been vaccinated yet, talk with your doctor about getting one shot now and another later on in your life when you're older (sometimes they recommend waiting until at least age 18).


BLOODBORNE PATHOGENS CERTIFICATION

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