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Gary Evans writes Hospital Infection Control & Prevention (HIC), Hospital Employee Health (HEH) and contributes to IRB Advisor (IRB). As senior writer at AHC, Evans has written numerous articles on infectious disease threats to both patients and health care workers, including pandemic influenza, MERS and Ebola. He has been honored for excellence in analytical reporting five times by the National Press Club in Washington, DC.
Sixteen years have passed since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued the 1998 Guideline for Infection Control in Health Care Personnel. Occupational health professionals and infection preventionists may soon get the updated, user-friendly guidance they need.
A CDC work group is reviewing guidance related to various infectious diseases that have emerged or resurged sine 1998, says David Kuhar, MD, medical epidemiologist with CDC’s Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion.
“Many of the major principles are the same as they were in the previous guideline. Some things have clearly changed since 1998,” he says. For example, the guideline will refer to new recommendations on using blood tests for tuberculosis screening.
It’s too soon to know the scope of the updated document, but as with the 1998 guideline, it will address both patient-to-provider and provider-to-patient risks of transmission, Kuhar says. The guideline also may cover non-hospital settings, he says.
The update likely will be issued in 2015 or 2016, he says. “We recognize that this is an important update… It needs to come out in a timely fashion,” he says.