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Journal Article


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, USA. MMWR Morb. Mortal. Wkly. Rep. 1985; 34(7): 101-103.


(Copyright © 1985, (in public domain), Publisher U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)






As of December 31, 1984, 361 health care workers with documented parenteral or mucous membrane exposure to potentially infectious body fluids from patients with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) had been enrolled in a Centers for Disease Control-initiated surveillance. Each enrolled health care worker is followed for 3 years, with semi-annual interview, physical examination, and blood specimen collection. 143 (40%) of these workers have now been enrolled for 12 months or longer, and none has developed signs or symptoms suggestive of AIDS. 58% of these health care wokers are nurses, 18% are physicians or medical students, 9% are laboratory workers, and 7% are phlebotomists. 85% are white and 78% are female. The majority (81%) of exposures occurred in direct patient care areas, 9% took place in laboratories, and 10% occurred in operating or procedure rooms and morgues. The types of exposure were: needlestick injuries (68%), mucosal exposures (13%), cuts with sharp instruments (10%), and contamination of open skin lesions (9%). 88% of the exposures were to blood or serum, 6% were to saliva, and 2% were to urine. 48% of exposed health care workers received either no specific treatment postexposure or local wound care only, while 35% received immunoglobulin either or in combination with other treatment. Complete expidemiologic data have been collected on 226 of the patients to whom these health care workers were exposed. 92% were definite AIDS patients, while 8% were suspected AIDS cases. Tests for T-cell subsets have been performed on specimens from 269 (75%) of the health care workers. The mean T4:T8 ratio has been 2.2, with a range of 0.4-5.4. At 12-month follow-up, ratios that were initially less than 1.0 fell in the normal range. Investigation of 40 samples collected an average of 10.5 months after injury revealed no incidence of seropositivity for human T-lymphotropic virus type III (HTLV-III) infection.


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