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January 21, 1998

Should Health Care Workers Exposed to Hepatitis C Routinely Receive Hepatitis A Vaccine?

Author Affiliations

Margaret A.WinkerMD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 1998;279(3):195. doi:10.1001/jama.279.3.193

To the Editor.—The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offered 6 recommendations for follow-up protocol of health care workers after occupational exposure to hepatitis C virus (HCV).1 However, the CDC also should consider immediate vaccination against hepatitis A virus as part of these follow-up recommendations.

As the article pointed out, at least 85% of patients with HCV develop chronic liver disease. Patients with chronic liver disease may experience grave consequences if they become infected with other liver diseases, such as hepatitis A. In fact, patients with chronic liver disease infected with hepatitis A are at increased risk for fulminant hepatitis, which may lead to liver failure or even death.