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CDC Issues Guidance to Stop HCV Transmission in Hemodialysis

Dialysis providers and facilities should assess and improve infection control practices

MONDAY, Feb. 1, 2016 (HealthDay News) — In order to prevent hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection among patients undergoing hemodialysis, current infection control practices should be assessed and any gaps addressed, according to a health advisory published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Noting that the CDC has received an increased number of reports of newly acquired HCV infection among patients undergoing hemodialysis, the advisory addresses ways to prevent new infection.

Since patients could be exposed to HCV with infection control lapses in dialysis care, immediate action should be taken with any case of new HCV infection in a patient undergoing hemodialysis. Current infection control practices and environmental cleaning and disinfection practices within the facility should be assessed in order to ensure adherence to standards of infection control. Any gaps identified by these assessments should be addressed. Patients should be screened for HCV, in accordance with CDC guidelines, to detect infection, determine treatment potential, and prevent secondary transmission. All acute HCV infection should be reported promptly to the state or local health department.

“A recent publication describes a dialysis facility where an outbreak of HCV continued for five years before being detected, highlighting the importance of HCV screening to identify these infections early and prevent further transmission,” according to the report. “HCV transmission can be prevented when proper infection prevention and environmental disinfection practices are consistently followed.”

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