To provide information concerning potential occupational transmission of hepatitis A virus (HAV) among wastewater workers in a large city in the United States, a cross-sectional survey was performed using a saliva test to detect antibodies to HAV (anti-HAV). Fifty-nine (20%) of 302 participants tested positive for anti-HAV. After controlling for the confounding effects of age and race, wastewater work was not significantly associated with an increase in the prevalence of anti-HAV (prevalence ratio = 1.3; 95% confidence interval 0.7 to 2.4). Additionally, when examining only the wastewater workers, no statistically significant occupational risk factors for anti-HAV were identified. The results of this survey are consistent with the position of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regarding groups at risk for HAV infection.
From the Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluation and Field Studies, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Cincinnati, Ohio (Dr Trout, Mr Mueller, Ms Krake); and the Hepatitis Branch, Division of Viral and Rickettsial Diseases, National Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Ga. (Dr Venczel).
Address correspondence to: Douglas Trout, MD, MHS, NIOSH, 4676 Columbia Parkway, R-10, Cincinnati, OH 45226.
This evaluation was conducted as a NIOSH health hazard evaluation.