Reducing Risks: Step 5 - Protection against infectious diseases

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Caution: It is important to protect against all diseases, which are carried in the blood or tissue fluids. Protective gloves should be worn whenever there is a possibility of blood or tissue fluid being passed from one person to another, i.e. through an open cut or broken skin. Two specific diseases to mention are:


Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is a disease caused by the Human Immuno-deficiency Virus (HIV). The virus is transmitted through body tissue. Most people are aware of AIDS because of media coverage. The virus attacks the natural immune system, and therefore carries a strong risk of secondary infection, such as pneumonia, which could be life threatening. As there is no known cure, prevention through protection is vital.

Hepatitis variants (A, B and C)

This is an inflammation of the liver. It is caused by a very strong virus also transmitted through blood and tissue fluids. This can survive outside the body and can make a person very ill indeed; it can even be fatal. The most serious form is Hepatitis B and you can be immunised against it by a GP. If a person can prove that he or she needs this protection for employment purposes, there is no cost involved. Most training establishments will recommend this.

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