November 28, 2013

Hepatitis C virus: An overview for dental health care providers

J Am Dent Assoc. 2013 Dec;144(12):1340-7.

Klevens RM, Moorman AC.

Dr. Klevens is a medical epidemiologist, Division of Viral Hepatitis, National Center for HIV, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Mailstop G-37, 1600 Clifton Road, Atlanta, Ga. 30333,


BACKGROUND: and Overview. Changes in the science of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and transmission in a private dental practice provide an opportunity to update dental health care providers about this pathogen. The authors' aims in this review were to create awareness of health care- associated transmission of hepatitis C and provide an update on the changes in testing and treatment. The authors include data from population-based epidemiologic surveys, clinical practice guidelines, surveillance reports and practice protocols.

RESULTS: In the United States, the elevated prevalence of chronic HCV infection among baby boomers-people born during the period from 1945 through 1965-led the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to release new national screening guidelines. The authors summarize information about the natural history and epidemiology of hepatitis C and describe the new guidelines and novel treatment options. In addition, the authors provide an overview of how outbreaks of health care-associated HCV are detected and prevented. Practical Implications. Because dental health care professionals likely will treat people with current infection, education in the current science of HCV infection is useful.

KEYWORDS: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Hepatitis C, infections

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