New resources from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health provide a full list of life-threating infectious diseases, descriptions of how emergency responders may be exposed to such diseases and guidelines for medical facilities to determine whether exposures have occurred.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and partners in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued revised and updated resources to help prevent exposures of emergency response employees to potentially life-threatening infectious diseases in the line of duty.
The resources include:
The action was taken as a result of provisions in the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act of 2009. In the reauthorization, Congress directed the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to update resources originally compiled under the Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency Act, enacted in 1990.
The Secretary of Health and Human Services delegated the task to the CDC. NIOSH and the CDC’s Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion worked together to develop the required list and guidelines, incorporating input from stakeholders that was received via a public comment process. NIOSH was created under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 and is a part of the CDC.
The updated list of potentially life-threatening infectious diseases to which emergency response employees occupationally may be exposed includes all that were in an earlier list under the 1990 Ryan White Act:
New additions include:
More information can be found at www.cdc.gov/niosh.
[Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention]