Some of the most common respiratory diseases healthcare workers may be exposed to include pertussis (whooping cough), varicella (chickenpox), tuberculosis, meningococcal infections, and measles. Any time you have an exposure to one of these illnesses for which OHC assesses your contact with the patient, you must fill out a Tennessee First Report of Injury form.
Personnel who are working with a macaque (a specific species of non-human primate) may be exposed to the simian herpes B virus if they sustain a bite or needle stick, a scratch from the animal or a dirty cage, or a splash with the animal's blood or body fluids.
Formaldehyde is a chemical used in embalming and tissue preservation, as well as in cold sterilization. Acute exposure to formaldehyde may result in pulmonary edema (fluid in the lungs), central nervous system (CNS) depression, or pneumonitis (inflammation of the lung tissue). Chronic exposure may cause irritation of the skin, mucous membranes or respiratory tract. Repeated exposure to formaldehyde may result in an allergic response. It is also a potential carcinogen. Primary exposure routes are inhalation and skin absorption.
When patients are treated with radioactive iodine, their blood and body fluids such as urine and vomit can contain the radioactive drug. Caregivers should understand the risks of exposure. There are two different types of radiation risks: Thyroid exposure: Having the radioactive iodine absorbed by your thyroid gland. External beam radiation: Getting radiation exposure from the contaminated body fluids, just like you would from an X-ray. Preventing thyroid exposure
A parasite called Toxoplasma gondii causes a disease known as toxoplasmosis. Most adults have already had toxoplasmosis; toxoplasmosis shows few or no symptoms 90% of the time. However, pregnant women and individuals with weakened immune systems should be cautious.
Typically, there is no serious complication for a pregnant woman or her baby from exposure to a person with Parvovirus B19, or "Fifth" disease. About 50% of women are already immune to Parvovirus B19, so these women and their babies are protected from infection and illness. Even if a woman is susceptible and gets infected with Parvovirus B19, she usually experiences only a mild illness. Likewise, her unborn baby usually does not have any problems attributable to a Parvovirus B19 infection.
Respiratory Syncytial Virus or RSV is one of the many cold-type upper respiratory infections that most of us acquire during the cold and flu season. For premature or medically-frail infants, the infection could become very serious, even fatal. RSV is a paramyxovirus and there are 2 types, A and B.
Parvovirus B-19 infection is also known as Fifth Disease. Fifth Disease is usually a mild illness that resolves without medical treatment among children and adults who are otherwise healthy. However, pregnant women who are infected with Parvovirus during early pregnancy have a 5% risk of miscarriage. (Also see article Parvovirus B19 Exposure in Pregnancy.)
VRE (Vancomycin Resistant Enterocci) and MRSA (Methicillin Resistant Staph Aureus) are common in hospitals. Staph is a normal bacteria on human skin and Enterocci are normal bacteria in the human bowel. Patients who have been hospitalized for long periods develop resistant bacteria as a result of exposure to many antibiotics or the hospital environment. In recent years resistant organisms have become very common in the community and patients often bring them into the hospital.