LUL - G1192
|Publication Date:||5 September 2016|
There are 3 types of hepatitis, A, B and C. Hepatitis A is spread by the face-oral route. B and C are blood borne and therefore require blood-to-blood contact such as with needlestick injury or handling blood with an open wound, for infection to occur.
It can also be spread by other routes, such as sex, which is not relevant to this document and extremely rarely, from a bite. There have been very few cases in the world that have developed Hepatitis B from a bite.
After needlestick injury from a needle infected with Hepatitis B there is anything between 0.1 - 30% chances of that person developing Hepatitis B depending on the immunity status of the 'donor'. After needlestick injury from a needle infected with Hepatitis C there is a 3 % chance of that person developing Hepatitis C.
These statistics have been found after needlestick injuries occurring in healthcare professionals exposed to Hepatitis B or C positive 'donors'. The injuries were with fresh blood. The virus will begin to die in a discarded needle and after 48 hours outside the body the risk is almost negligible.