Update: Hepatitis B in healthcare workers
Finally, a news story about a legal settlement between a medical student and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey highlights a sensitive issue between some healthcare workers and employers.
Although there have been no transmissions of hepatitis B reported in the United States from primary care providers, clinicians, medical or dental students, residents, nurses, or other health care providers to patients since 1991, potential hires with hepatitis B face unlawful discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
"As many as 1.4 million Americans have chronic hepatitis B. It's not clear how many of them are health practitioners. But some 25 percent of medical and dental students—and many practicing doctors, surgeons and dentists—were born to mothers from countries in Asia and other regions of the world where the virus is endemic, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention," The Associated Press reports.
The CDC's guidelines for management of healthcare workers with hepatitis B were updated last year for the first time since 1991.