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November 2, 1984

Hepatitis B Infection in Other Hospital Personnel

Author Affiliations

Jefferson County Department of Health
University of Alabama School of Public Health Birmingham

JAMA. 1984;252(17):2391-2392. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03350170009005

To the Editor.—  We recently participated in a multicenter study of risk factors associated with the diagnosis of acute viral hepatitis.1 Francis et al found that of the acute type B hepatitis infections reported to the five centers participating in this study, 12% occurred in persons employed in medical care work settings. It has long been recognized that among medical care workers, hospital personnel have an increased risk of type B hepatitis, but not type A hepatitis, because of occupational contact with blood and other serum-containing patient secretions. Apart from the obvious risk to nurses, medical laboratory technicians, and certain physicians, little information is available on risk of type B hepatitis in hospital ancillary personnel who do not have routine patient or specimen contact.Between Jan 1, 1980, and Dec 31, 1983, there were 459 cases of acute type B hepatitis in Jefferson County, Alabama residents reported to the