What are bloodborne pathogens? Bloodborne pathogens are viruses or diseases that can be transmitted through the blood stream or bodily fluids. You can also transfer these infections by touching your eyes, nose or mouth which many are not aware of. How this can happen in the workplace is if you are handling needles or sharp objects that were previously used by a patient or client and not being properly disposed, or by touching a contaminated surface. You can transfer these diseases easily if not taking the proper precautions provided by OSHA or your individual workplace.
There are several types of bloodborne diseases or viruses that are out there but two are most common which are Hepatitis B and HIV (Human Immune Deficiency). Hepatitis B is a much more persistent virus than HIV and survive for up to a week in dried blood on hard surfaces and even fabric surfaces. However, HIV could not survive no longer than a few minutes once its exposed to air at room temperature. As you know now, each one is different in its contamination period but, this is why it is important for the people who clean to properly do their job so no one will get infected or make it possible for the virus to spread.
It is important to also be properly trained for cleaning contaminated surfaces and disposal of items because these diseases or viruses are not visible to the human eye. They also take time to accumulate any symptoms if infected, all bloodborne pathogens are dangerous to your health. If you think you are infected contact a health professional as soon as possible. You can easily infect a loved one or a friend if you're not cautious. Be aware of what you're handling at all times.