As a health care worker, you come into contact with materials that may contain bloodborne pathogens. Bloodborne pathogens are infectious organisms, usually viruses, that live in human blood and body fluids.
The bloodborne pathogens that are most likely to be present in human body fluids and are therefore of greatest concern to health care workers are:
- Hepatitis B virus (HBV)
- Hepatitis C virus (HCV)
- Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
Currently, most workers in the United States are unlikely to encounter Ebola virus or individuals with Ebola Virus Disease (EVD); however, health care workers are at greater risk for occupational exposure than workers in most other professions. OSHA’s requirements and recommendations for protecting workers at greater risk for exposure are discussed at the end of this course.