Occupationally acquired infectious diseases among health care workers in Brazil: Use of Internet tools to improve management, prevention, and surveillance


      Education is a major component of prevention strategies to reduce the risk of occupational transmission of bloodborne pathogens to health care personnel.


      This study describes the results of an Internet-based project, “Projeto”, for which the main objectives are to disseminate information in the Portuguese language about occupational exposures to bloodborne pathogens through a mailing list and Web site as well as to increase case reports of these events in Brazil.


      The mailing list expanded quickly with a total of 2078 participants (from 337 different cities and all Brazilian states), and 5613 messages were exchanged over a 5-year period. Mean length of participation was almost 2 years (697 days). Most of the participants (74%) reported that they frequently manage occupational exposures. Nevertheless, results showed an important lack of basic knowledge regarding this issue. In contrast with the high participation in the mailing list, a small number of institutions started to participate in the voluntary surveillance system.


      The Internet can be used as a tool to increase knowledge and improve practices in the prevention of occupational bloodborne pathogen exposures. In addition, it may represent a unique opportunity to implement a national surveillance system.
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