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September 25, 2002

Occupational Transmission of Hepatitis C Virus

Author Affiliations

Stephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 2002;288(12):1469-1471. doi:10.1001/jama.288.12.1469

To the Editor: Dr Sulkowski and colleagues1 present a case of occupational hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in a medical intern following a needlestick from an intravenous (IV) catheter stylet. In reviewing the occupational risk of HCV infection, they state that "HCV transmission following a single needlestick accident occurs approximately 10 times more often than HIV [human immunodeficiency virus] transmission." This estimate appears to derive from studies reported in their Table, which reported a total of 333 HCV-exposed health care workers (HCWs), 14 of whom became infected, for an overall transmission rate of 4.2%.

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