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J Korean Med Assoc > Volume 53(6); 2010 > Article
Ahn: Infectious Diseases among Healthcare Workers


The healthcare industry employs over one million workers in Korea and encompasses a usually broad spectrum of occupations and related exposures. There are so many biological exposures in healthcare settings, including blood-borne pathogens, HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C, air-borne pathogens such as tuberculosis, and a wide variety of respiratory viruses. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates the global burden of disease (GBD) from occupational exposure to be 40% of Hepatitis B and C infections and 2.5% of the human Immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections among Healthcare workers (HCWs). Some countries have used surveillance systems to monitor national trends and incidence rates of occupational infections among HCWs; identify newly emerging hazards for HCWs; assess the risk of occupational exposures and infections; and evaluate preventive measures including engineering controls, work practices, protective equipment, and post-exposure prophylaxis to prevent occupational infections. Infection control programs such as engineering control in medical facilities, immunization, post exposure prophylaxis, and use of personal protective equipment (PPE) have been widely introduced to reduce occupational infectious disease among HCWs. Thus some developed countries which have actively introduced infection control program have decreased incidences of occupational infectious diseases among HCWs. This study describes the epidemiologic characteristics of occupational infectious diseases among HCWs, the kinds of surveillance system to monitor infectious diseases among HCWs, and infection control measures that apply to healthcare settings.


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Table 1
Healthcare Personnel Vaccination Recommendations by U.S. Public Health Service (30)
Table 2
Guideline for infection control in healthcare personnel (22)

*Food handlers should be also remain out of work with these infections.


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