Blood-borne pathogens, such as bacteria and viruses, are present in blood and body fluids and can cause disease in humans. The blood-borne pathogens of primary concern are hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV. These and other blood-borne pathogens are spread primarily through:
- Direct contact. – Infected blood or body fluid from one person enters another person’s body at a correct entry site, such as infected blood splashing in the eye.
- Indirect contact. – A person’s skin touches an object that contains the blood or body fluid of an infected person, such as picking up soiled dressings contaminated with an infected
person’s blood or body fluid.
Follow standard precautions to help prevent the spread of blood-borne pathogens and other diseases whenever there is a risk of exposure to blood or other body fluids. These precautions require that all blood and other body fluids be treated as if they are infectious. Standard precautions include maintaining personal hygiene and using personal protective equipment (PPE), engineering controls, work practice controls, and proper equipment cleaning and spill cleanup procedures.