§ 23-28.37-1. Findings.
The general assembly finds and declares that, by reason of their employment, firefighters and emergency medical technicians are required to work in the midst of and are subject to exposure to infectious diseases, especially hepatitis B; that the U.S. center for disease control has estimated that two hundred thousand (200,000) persons in the U.S. are infected each year with hepatitis B, and of that number twenty-five percent (25%) become ill, ten thousand (10,000) require hospitalization, and five thousand (5,000) die; that it is estimated that there are from five hundred thousand (500,000) to one million (1,000,000) infectious hepatitis B carriers in the U.S. of which up to eighty percent (80%) of chronic carriers are unaware that they have hepatitis B and are capable of spreading it; that there is no known cure for hepatitis B, and for firefighters, there is no way of knowing who among those being helped at an accident or a fire is a hepatitis B carrier. The general assembly further finds and declares that all the aforementioned conditions exist and arise out of or in the course of employment.
(P.L. 1987, ch. 544, § 1.)