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Infections in British clinical laboratories, 1982-3.
  1. N R Grist,
  2. J Emslie


    During 1982-3, 31 specific and 12 uncharacterized infections were reported from 30 of 240 laboratories, representing 29 223 person-years of experience. Thirteen cases of hepatitis included 10 of type B or non-A, non-B hepatitis of probable occupational origin (attributable incidence 34.2 per 100 000 person years) affecting haematology, biochemistry, and postmortem workers. Of nine cases of tuberculosis, three were probably acquired in the laboratory (attributable incidence 10.3 per 100 000 person years) and affected microbiology, morbid anatomy, and postmortem staff. Microbiology staff also acquired, probably from the laboratory, four shigella infections and one each of brucella and herpes. The general community was the probable source of three cases of hepatitis A, two of rubella, and one of varicella. During the two years the risk of laboratory acquired infection mainly concerned the postmortem room and mortuary.

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