Call us on 0845 226 0185 or email info@cairncare.co.uk

Controlling Hepatitis B in care homes

February 1, 2018

Over recent months there has been a global shortage of Hepatitis B (HBV) vaccine, which is usually offered to care workers who are at risk of being exposed to blood from an infected person.

This can happen in a variety of ways in a care home setting, for example when care home staff are using sharps or administering first aid.

Over recent years there have been a number of outbreaks of the Hepatitis B virus (HBV) in care homes, with the most common cause being poor infection control when testing residents for blood glucose with a ‘finger-stick’ lancet device.

However, the Hepatitis B virus is not just spread through blood or blood products; it has also been found to be transmitted through other bodily fluids including saliva, menstrual or vaginal discharges and seminal fluid.

As a result, it can be seen why care homes present a particular risk for the spread of contact associated Hepatitis B.

Why this is not a good thing

Hepatitis B can potentially cause long-term liver damage, so any risk of its spread should be taken extremely seriously.

Having the correct infection control measures in place is essential, as symptoms of the virus aren’t always easy to recognise and in some cases people show no symptoms at all.

For example, an infected person might just seem to have the flu, with aching joints, fatigue, a sore throat and nausea. Others with a more acute infection could have jaundice or stomach pains.

Although these symptoms may seem unclear, if left untreated, the virus can lead to cirrhosis or liver cancer, so there is no room from playing Russian Roulette with infection control routines.

What action can you take?

Effective disinfection in care homes is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of HBV, so it is important to use a disinfectant that has been proven to destroy this virus. One such disinfectant is the antimicrobial cleaner, Virusolve+.

An independent report, carried out by Micropathology Ltd, found that Virusolve+ was able to completely destroy HBsAg, the surface antigen of HBV which can cause infection.

In fact, after only 1 minute of contact time with 5% Virusolve+ in dissolved water, HBsAg was undetectable in the test sample.

As Virusolve+ can be used on walls, floors, ceilings and fittings, as well as almost any surface not affected by water, such as carpets, upholstery and mattresses, it is the ideal solution for tackling the risk of HBV on touch points throughout your care home.

Being DEFRA approved, it can also be used in food environments such as care home kitchens and dining areas.

With no need to clean these surfaces prior to disinfecting, Virusolve+ saves time and money, whilst also leaving a residual barrier of up to seven days to help keep bugs at bay.

Of course, encouraging staff, residents and guests to follow proper hand washing procedures can also help reduce the spread of the virus around your residential home and should be encouraged at all times.

Tackling Hepatitis B with Virusolve+

By using Virusolve+ as your disinfectant, you can also tackle a range of other unpleasant viruses such as MRSA, Clostridium difficile, Norovirus and Hepatitis C. In addition, it will also destroy bacteria, fungi and spores.

Just click here to view our Virusolve+ range of wipes, concentrate and ready-to-use solutions. You can also visit our training section for dilution instructions for our various Virusolve+ products.

You can also email us at info@cairncare.co.uk or call 0845 226 0185 to request our factsheet: ‘Controlling HBV infection in your care home‘.