Incidence of newly acquired hepatitis C virus has increased recently in patients undergoing hemodialysis, according to a health advisory from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In 2014 and 2015, 36 cases of HCV infection were reported to the CDC from 19 clinics in eight states. While investigation is ongoing, HCV transmission between patients has been confirmed in at least nine facilities, and in several facilities, lapses in infection control were also identified. Better screening and awareness of HCV infection potential may also play a role in the increased disease incidence.
The CDC recommends that dialysis facilities assess current infection control practices, environmental cleaning, and disinfection practices to evaluate adherence to standards, address any gaps, screen patients for HCV, and to report all HCV infections to the CDC promptly.
“Dialysis facilities should actively assess and continuously improve their infection control, environmental cleaning and disinfection, and HCV screening practices, whether or not they are aware of infections in their clinic. Any case of new HCV infection in a patient undergoing hemodialysis is likely to be a health care–associated infection and should be reported to public health authorities in a timely manner,” the CDC said
Find the full health advisory on the CDC website.