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Occupational Exposure to HBV

In the healthcare setting, the virus is spread most often through contact with infected blood and other potentially infectious materials (OPIM), including body fluids and any unfixed tissue or organ (other than intact skin).
Body fluids most likely to transmit HBV are:
  • Blood
  • Semen
  • Vaginal secretions
  • Pleural fluid
  • Peritoneal fluid
  • Pericardial fluid
  • Cerebrospinal fluid
  • Synovial fluid
  • Amniotic fluid
  • Saliva contaminated with blood during dental procedures
  • Any fluid visibly contaminated with blood
Sweat is not considered infectious for HBV, unless it is contaminated with blood.
Contact with HBV may occur when infected blood or OPIM is introduced:
  • Through an opening or sore in the skin
  • Via a puncture with a contaminated sharp (such as a needle)
  • Through direct contact with mucous membranes that line the insides of the mouth, nose, and eyes