Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: November 27, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412953948 | Print ISBN: 9781412928168 | Online ISBN: 9781412953948 | Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Bloodborne diseases are caused by pathogens such as viruses or bacteria that are carried in the blood. In the United States, the most common bloodborne diseases are hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV/AIDS. Hemorrhagic fevers, including Ebola, are not a health threat in the United States, but sporadic outbreaks have occurred in Africa and other parts of the world since 1976. Common routes of infection with bloodborne diseases include unprotected sexual activity, contact with blood through needles or other sharps, and transmission from mother to child during the birth process. Hepatitis B is caused by infection with the hepatitis B virus (HBV). In about 30% of cases, the person experiences no symptoms; others may experience jaundice, fatigue, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, and joint pain. Infection may become chronic, particularly to infants infected at birth, and may lead to death from chronic liver disease (15% to 25% of ...