By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The term is post exposure prophylaxis or PEP. The term PEP is less intimidating and technical and it is worth discussing because PEP is important, especially for people who work in any area of health care. This ranges from physicians to nurses to technicians an beyond.

The truth of the matter is that in a health care setting there is the opportunity for people to be exposed to a wide variety of infectious diseases and PEP is the tool that can be used to help detect exposure and begin early treatment. Guidelines have been written and treatments are in place to help limit infection in an exposed person and also to help prevent spread.

For anyone who works in any health care environment you should know that help is out there. If you have an accidental exposure, you want treatment as soon as possible.