Hep C and correctional officers

Posted 18 September, 2020
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Hep C and correctional officers

How is hepatitis C transmitted in a correctional centre?

Hepatitis C is only transmitted by blood to blood contact. This can include:

  • Assaults, blood spills and accidental needle stick injuries
  • Sharing needles and tattoo guns
  • Sharing razors, toothbrushes and equipment used for hair cuts

Can hepatitis C be treated?

  • Treatment = Cure
  • 95% of people who complete 8-12 weeks of treatment will be cured
  • Most people will not experience any side effects – those who do may have mild headaches
  • Access to treatment is available to everyone, including people in Correctional Centres

What precautions should be taken?

  • Control the risk – limit exposure to sharps and provide adequate training for staff on blood-borne viruses and access to PPE

What should you do if you have been exposed to blood:

  • Wash the exposed skin with soap and water
  • Seek medical advice immediately
  • Conduct a blood-borne virus risk assessment
  • Follow testing guidelines to determine if an infection has occurred
  • Respect confidentially of all parties involved as per state and federal legislation

Where do I get more information?

  • Visit QCS Intranet – Policies and Procedures
  • Contact the Occupational Health, Safety and Environmental Coordinator (OHSEC) in your centre
  • Contact Hepatitis Queensland on 1800 437 222

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