A pathogen, in simple terms, is a germ or virus. So this makes bloodborne pathogen bacteria or viruses that are present in the blood. These pathogens can cause a number of diseases if you come in contact with infected blood, body fluids – secretions, mucus, feces- or potentially infectious materials.
Bloodborne pathogens are not just limited to viruses such as Hepatitis B or HIV, it is much more. A crash punctured by a needle or sharp object is one of the easiest ways to come in contact with the virus, for example. Other means such as open wounds, cuts or even acne can be a way to contract it.
But to be clear, there are certain misconceptions about the transmission of the virus. Touching an infected person who sneezes or coughs or using the same equipment as the shower or even a fountain, did not cause the virus is transmitted. There is a specialized certification for blood pathogen where people working under medical spheres are trained to deal with the blood so that they won't get infected while coming in contact with it.
The Government also saw merit in dealing with issues related to bloodborne pathogens because of theylead about 200 deaths and 9,000 infections a year. So with the help of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), they have been able to collect a standard to protect workers from such infections. The healthcare industry requires a lot of precautions and are very particular about the way they handle blood and body fluids.
But there are a number of other jobs that could come in contact or at risk of bloodborne pathogens. So there are some precautions that employers can take to ensure their employees are at risk at least. And in case there are organizations such as dealing with blood or body fluids, they should, as a rule, educate and inform everyone connected to the pathogen.