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Updated guidelines for occupational disease exposure

The United States Public Health Service recently released updated guidelines for occupational illnesses, such as exposure to HIV and PEP among those working in the medical field. When a Colorado health care worker encounters occupational disease their life can be changed forever and their health permanently compromised. Some victims may choose to have professional assistance while navigating their benefit and treatment options to help ensure rightful care and compensation.

Reports reveal that the updates to the previous standard were created in conjunction with the Center for Disease Control, the FDA and National Institutes of Health to outline new medication treatment regimes when a person is exposed. Although the new treatment does still suggest the use of tenofovir and emtricitabine, some new medications suggested have not been available in years past. A Colorado employee who suffers occupational disease is protected by state regulated laws to provide necessary care and treatment options.

In the past, an employee who was exposed to occupational disease like HIV or PEP would have been screened to see what level of treatment they may need, but new guidelines require all levels of risk to receive a minimum of three or more drugs in their treatment plan. Some of the newer medications do have fewer side effects and a lower risk of disease resistance, making it less traumatic for a worker undergoing the process. The Center for Disease Control believes that the new medication raltegravir may not cause as many headaches, vomiting and nausea, insomnia or fatigue as previously suggested treatments for exposure to HIV and PEP.

Updated guidelines for occupational disease exposure includes how and when to test a worker that has been exposed to HIV. Screening can be completed in a four month span of time in some cases, as well as the previous six month follow up. However, testing must begin within hours of exposure and continue for four weeks with professional care. An employee that does not receive proper testing and medical treatment for exposure may choose to seek legal assistance in filing a claim for their potential work injury.

Source: pharmacypracticenews.com, New Guidelines Issued on Job-Related HIV Exposure, George Ochoa, Nov. 4, 2013

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