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  1. #1

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    Default Can a person with HBV be a firefighter/paramedic?

    The fire department that I am looking to join required that I am also a paramedic before becoming a firefighter. But I don't mind because I don't mind having more knowledge in the field that I am going. Well my question is, will I be able to be a firefighter if I am infected by Hepatitis B? I am currently taking medicine for a few months now. My doctor said after two years the virus would not be active, meaning I would be negative if I was to get tested.


  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by cuongn View Post
    The fire department that I am looking to join required that I am also a paramedic before becoming a firefighter. But I don't mind because I don't mind having more knowledge in the field that I am going. Well my question is, will I be able to be a firefighter if I am infected by Hepatitis B? I am currently taking medicine for a few months now. My doctor said after two years the virus would not be active, meaning I would be negative if I was to get tested.
    It's one of the most common Firefighter diseases, usually picked up on scene. In order to disqualify you from hire, they would have to prove that your condition would prevent you from doing the job or present an unreasonable risk to those you work with. There was a case involving a dental tech with AIDS being fired and he won his job back due to him proving the risk of infecting a patient was so low. The question is, do you feel that your condition would present an unreasonable risk to those who you will be working/living with? I don't think it does, but you'll have the responsibility to keep your brothers and sisters from catching whatever you're carrying. Good luck with your treatment and career. The one plus from having gone through something like this is that it can help give you the knowledge and empathy to help patients with similar medical problems.

  3. #3
    Back In Black ChiefKN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cuongn View Post
    My doctor said after two years the virus would not be active, meaning I would be negative if I was to get tested.
    That depends on the type of test done.
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

    "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

    "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefKN View Post
    That depends on the type of test done.
    True. Test that screen for the actual virus will no longer test positive. Tests that screen for anti-bodies will be positive even if you do not have the virus anymore.
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." -- Benjamin Franklin

  5. #5
    I like milk...
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarcusKspn View Post
    True. Test that screen for the actual virus will no longer test positive. Tests that screen for anti-bodies will be positive even if you do not have the virus anymore.
    Would you test positive if you had the vaccine with and anti-body test?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by FireWA1 View Post
    Would you test positive if you had the vaccine with and anti-body test?
    Not 100% sure with the answer, but I think yes. I want to say that the anti-body test is how they test to make sure the vaccine was effective and you have immunity. Your body makes the antibodies to the Hepatitis Surface Antigens because it was exposed to either a real infection or the vaccine. Other test for either viral loads or antigens are pretty specific for an infection with the actual virus. So the anti-HBs test shows positive for immunity irregardless of how you obtained it.

    If DaSharkie reads this he might be able to clarify.
    Last edited by MarcusKspn; 10-29-2009 at 03:24 AM.
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." -- Benjamin Franklin

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