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Bloodborne Pathogens What are Bloodborne Pathogens Bloodborne Pathogens are pathogenic microorganisms that can eventually cause disease They are found in human blood and other bodily fluids such as synovial fluid semen vaginal secretions cerebrospinal fluid and any other fluid that mixes or has contact with blood The bloodborne pathogens are pathogenic which means they are disease causing and they are also microorganisms which means that they are very small so the human eye cannot see them Bloodborne pathogens are viruses that deteriorate cells within the body A virus is a submicroscopic parasitic organism that feeds on cells Viruses are dependent on cells for their nutrients so the virus survive and reproduce Every virus consists of either deoxyribonucleic acid DNA or ribonucleic acid RNA A virus can contain a strand of one or the other but not both This RNA or DNA is contained within a protein shell for protection A virus is a parasite that is dependent upon cells for metabolic and reproductive requirements By using the cell the virus makes the host very ill by redirecting cellular activity to make more viruses Most Significant Bloodborne Pathogens Two of the most significant bloodborne pathogens are HBV Hepatitis B Virus and HIV Human Immunodeficiency Virus Some of the other bloodborne pathogens include Hepatitis C Hepatitis D and Syphilis These are less significant and not as life threatening as the two listed above Hepatitis B The Hepatitis B virus is a disease that affects the liver and results in swelling and loss of normal function in the liver It is estimated that 350 million people are infected with Hepatitis B worldwide with 50 million new cases diagnosed every year1 In the United States it is estimated that about 125 million people have chronic Hepatitis New cases happen at a rate of about 300000 new cases a year in the US1 When the liver swells this can cause liver cell damage which can lead
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