3 Dangerous Diseases Caused By Bloodborne Pathogens
There are various diseases caused by blood borne pathogens. People are subjected to these pathogens by needle injuries, accidents with sharp instruments, contamination with blood and other body fluids. In case of exposure you must follow the exposure control protocol and afterwards follow up with a doctor for any necessary treatment.
AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome), Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C are 3 diseases caused as a result of exposure to blood borne pathogens.
* AIDS: AIDS or Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome is the disease caused by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). AIDS may develop even years after a person is infected by HIV. HIV weakens the body’s immune system making it susceptible to other diseases. There is no known cure for AIDS yet, and it is a fatal disease.
* Modes of Transmission of HIV :
* Sexual contact
* Sharing of needles
* During childbirth
* Through breast milk
* Accidental prick by needle with infected blood
* Contact of infected blood with a open wound or cut
* Symptoms of HIV:
* Sore throat
* Frequent headache
* White coating on the tongue
* Weight loss
* Swollen lymph nodes
The symptoms of HIV can vary but those mentioned above are some of the most common symptoms.
* Hepatitis B: Hepatitis B is an acute infection of the liver which sometimes becomes chronic. Chronic hepatitis B may result in liver cirrhosis and liver cancer.
* Modes of Transmission of hepatitis B virus (HBV):
* Puncture to mucous membrane or skin
* Contact with infected blood and other human body fluids
This virus is long-lasting. It is said to be infectious even after surviving outside the body for over seven days. Hepatitis B is a chief concern for housekeeping staff, laundry workers, janitors and also non-medical employees who may come in contact with human body fluid that any time.
* Initial symptoms of HBV:
* Stomach ache
* Loss of appetite
* Final symptoms of HBV:
* Dark colored urine
* High fever
Nevertheless, HBV infected people may not show any symptoms for some time. It may take up to nine months after exposure for the first symptom to be seen.
* Hepatitis C: Hepatitis C is also an infection of the liver that can be either acute or chronic. Like hepatitis B it may also cause liver cirrhosis and liver cancer but it is more likely for hepatitis B to result in a chronic illness.
* Modes of transmission of Hepatitis C Virus (HCV):
* Injection of drugs
* Needle-prick injury
* During childbirth from infected mother to baby
* Sexual contact
* Sharing of personal belongings
As of now no vaccines exist for hepatitis C. So prevention is the only option here. Always avoid direct contact with human blood and sharing of needles.
Now you know why safety measures are necessary for health care workers. One small mistake and you could be infected with a deathly disease. Infection with blood borne pathogens can be fatal so follow the rules and stay safe.
For more information, please visit our bloodborne pathogens website.