February 27, 2015 / 64(07);165-170
Incidents of health care–associated hepatitis C virus (HCV)
transmission that resulted from breaches in injection safety and
infection prevention practices have been previously documented (1,2).
During 2010 and 2011, separate, unrelated, occurrences of HCV
infections in New Jersey and Wisconsin associated with surgical
procedures were investigated to determine sources of HCV and mechanisms
of HCV transmission. Molecular analyses of HCV strains and epidemiologic
investigations indicated that transmission likely resulted from
breaches of infection prevention practices. Health care and public
health professionals should consider health care–associated transmission
when evaluating acute HCV infections.
An estimated 3.2 million U.S. residents have chronic HCV
infections; during 2011, approximately 16,500 acute HCV infections were
diagnosed. Molecular analyses of HCV strains have enhanced
investigations of health care–associated transmission (3–5) by
determining the relatedness of strains infecting persons with acute and
chronic HCV infection. Two investigations of HCV infection among
patients who had surgical procedures highlight the potential for HCV
contamination of medications or equipment, which can result in
transmissions that are difficult to recognize.
Labels: hospital transmission, nosocomial infection, surgical procedures, Transmission and Prevention