Hey Can I Get Hepatitis C From......



.,,
Aug 2012
.All baby boomers should be tested for the hepatitis C virus, U.S. health officials said on Thursday, citing studies suggesting more than 2 million Americans born between 1945 and 1965 may be infected with the liver-destroying virus
Continue Reading....

Updated 2012 - Best List Of HCV FAQs
168 Pages Of Hepatitis C FAQs

.
Part One: Hey Can I Get Hepatitis C From...............
.,.
Q: How is the hepatitis C virus (HCV) spread from one person to another?

A: It is spread through contact with the blood of an infected person. The most common way people get hepatitis C is by sharing injection drug equipment, including needles, cookers, water, and cotton. There is a small risk of transmission during sex. Some people contracted Hepatitis C through blood transfusions before 1992. Tattoos and body piercings done with contaminated needles can spread hepatitis C. If a pregnant woman has hepatitis C, there is a small chance her baby may be born with it. Sharing razors, nail clippers, and toothbrushes may also spread the virus. The hepatitis C virus is not spread by sweat, tears, or urine. You cannot get it through casual contact, food, water, sneezing, coughing, or breathing air.

In The News 

Aug 2012

Jan 2012
 Amateur tattoos carry hepatitis C risk: CDC

Dec 2011
IV User-Worried About HCV ? Check This Out
CDC Reports-Transmission of Hepatitis C Virus Through Transplanted Organs and Tissue


Should I be tested if my spouse has hepatitis C? What protection should I use if my spouse has the virus?

A: Sexual transmission studies are still ongoing. Because hepatitis C is transmitted through blood, it is not easily transmitted through sex. There are still some questions as to whether or not the virus is transmitted through semen.

If you and your spouse are having anal sex, you may increase your chances of transmitting the virus if bleeding occurs.

For your best protection, we suggest maintaining a monogamous relationship with your spouse.

2010 Study - Is heterosexual transmission an important risk factor for hepatitis C? 

 2011-Hepatitis C Sexually Transmitted between HIV-Positive Men

 Q: How soon after exposure to hepatitis C do symptoms appear?

A: If symptoms occur, the average time is 6–7 weeks after exposure, but this can range from 2 weeks to 6 months. However, many people infected with the hepatitis C virus do not develop symptoms.

Click here to order a FREE Home Access Hepatitis C Test Kit

Q: Can a person spread hepatitis C without having symptoms?

A: Yes, even if a person with hepatitis C has no symptoms, he or she can still spread the virus to others.

Q: I have been hep c positive for 5 years. Now I have a 17 month old child. What are the chances I have passed this on to my child either during pregnancy or birth?

A: The risk of hepatitis C transmission from mother-to-child at the time of birth is low, but transmission can occur in this way.

In women with hepatitis C, the overall risk of transmission from mother to child appears to be approximately 5%. In women who have both hepatitis C and HIV, the risk of transmission of the hepatitis C virus goes up to about 19%.

Q; I have been having sex with a man since January. He has Hep C. I thought that it was NOT passed through sex; however, I was told today by a friend that she was told to go get tested b/c of having sex with someone infected. The man I am sleeping with had the interferon treatment years ago. He also told me that it's "not dangerous to me". I am wondering if this is true now. Do I need to go get tested? Please help!!

A:Yes, it is recommended to be tested, however, sexual contact, whether it is genital, oral, or anal, appears to be an extremely inefficient means of HCV transmission. In fact, many studies evaluating this route of transmission have failed to detect the presence of HCV in either the saliva, semen, or urine of HCV-infected people—except when these body fluids have been contaminated by the person's blood. However, it is important to emphasize that HCV has the potential to be transmitted through intimate contact if there are breaks in the skin or in the lining of the mouth, vagina, or anus. This may occur for a variety of reasons including the presence of active, bleeding herpes sores; an inflamed and infected prostate gland, known as prostatitis; or as a result of traumatic or rough sex, especially anal intercourse.HCV has been detected with greater-than-average frequency among people who have a history of sexual promiscuity. While there is no exact definition for sexual promiscuity, one study published in the New England Journal of Medicine defines it as a "history of a sexually transmitted disease, sex with a prostitute, more than five sexual partners per year, or a combination of these." Of interest is that it appears to be easier for a man to transmit HCV to a woman than vice versa.A person who is in a long-term monogamous relationship with an HCV-infected person rarely contracts this virus. Only approximately 2 percent (a range of 0 to 6 percent) of sexual partners of HCV-infected people also test positive for HCV. However, it is important to note that this statistic is based on indirect evidence only. Therefore, whether these people became infected through a sexual act or by another route is unclear. For example, people in long-standing relationships generally care for one another in times of illness or injury. During such times, HCV may be transmitted to the spouse or partner as blood-barrier precautions may not always be taken into consideration—even among the most cautious of couples.

Q: Is it possible for HIV and hepatitis C to be transmitted at the same time?

A: Both hepatitis C and HIV are blood-borne viruses - so both viruses can indeed be transmitted at the same time if one is exposed to the blood of someone who is currently infected with both viruses.

Q: Can you get hep C from the blood product albumin?

A: The blood product albumin is manufactured by pooling that portion of the blood from many donors. Since 1992, when a reliable test for hepatitis C was introduced, all blood and blood products are now screened for hepatitis C. While there is currently a very remote risk of transmission of hepatitis C from receiving blood products such as albumin, it is highly unlikely. However, anyone receiving blood products prior to 1992 should be tested for hepatitis C since the blood supply was not able to be screened for the virus at that time.

Q: I have been sharing utensils, drinking out of the same straws, etc. with someone who has been diagnosed with HCV. Can HCV be transmitted through sharing eating utensils?

A: Hepatitis C is transmitted only through blood-to-blood contact. This means that the blood of someone who is infected with the hepatitis C virus has to come into contact with the blood of someone else for transmission of the virus to occur.
The hepatitis C virus is not transmitted by sharing eating utensils or dishes.

Q: Can HCV be spread during medical or dental procedures?

A: As long as Standard Precautions and other infection control practices are used consistently, medical and dental procedures performed in the United States generally do not pose a risk for the spread of HCV. However, HCV has been spread in healthcare settings when injection equipment, such as syringes, was shared between patients or when injectable medications or intravenous solutions were mishandled and became contaminated with blood. Healthcare personnel should understand and adhere to Standard Precautions, which includes safe injection practices and other guidance aimed at reducing bloodborne pathogen risks for patients and healthcare personnel. If healthcare-associated HCV infection is suspected, this should be reported to state and local public health authorities.

Q: Is it safe to have sex with someone who has hepatitis C?

A: Hepatitis C can be transmitted sexually, though overall, such transmission is uncommon. Since hepatitis C is transmitted through blood-to-blood contact, sexual contact that involves blood-to-blood exposure is higher risk.

The Caring Ambassadors Hepatitis C Program promotes the use of safer sex practices to prevent the transmission of not only hepatitis C, but also other sexually transmitted diseases.

Can you get hepatitis C by getting a tattoo or piercing?

A few major research studies have not shown hepatitis C to be spread through licensed, commercial tattooing facilities. However, transmission of hepatitis C (and other infectious diseases) is possible when poor infection-control practices are used during tattooing or piercing. Body art is becoming increasingly popular in the United States, and unregulated tattooing and piercing are known to occur in prisons and other informal or unregulated settings. Further research is needed to determine if these types of settings and exposures are responsible for hepatitis C virus transmission.

Can hepatitis C be spread within a household?

Yes, but this does not occur very often. If hepatitis C virus is spread within a household, it is most likely a result of direct, through-the-skin exposure to the blood of an infected household member.

Source - The prevalence of HCV among household contacts of people with HCV infection is low. Moreover, the study of HCV transmission among household contacts is complicated by the difficulty in ruling out other possible modes of acquisition. Many of the studies include a small number of nonsexual contacts, and often include children born to mothers with HCV infection. Therefore, it is difficult to determine whether nonsexual, non-blood contact is a route of transmission for HCV.

Q: I have herpes. I had sex someone who has Hep C. It was unprotected. Does that mean I have the virus?

A: The risk of transmission of hepatitis C through sexual intercourse is increased when a sexually transmitted disease is present. The only way to know if you've been infected with hepatitis C is to be tested.

Q: If someone has hep c and gets in a public pool, can other people swimming in the pool get infected with hepatitis C?

A: Hepatitis C is not transmitted by swimming in a public pool with someone who has hepatitis C. Hepatitis C is transmitted by blood-to-blood contact.

Q: I am a police officer and recently investigated a deceased person who had hep C. Although I did not touch the victim, he had a significant amount of blood on his body. My question is if I was inside of the victim's residence for several hours, did I run the risk of exposing myself to getting hep C just by breathing in the air from the victim's house?

A: Hepatitis C is not spread by inhaling the virus. It is spread by blood-to-blood contact. The situation you describe poses no risk of hepatitis C transmission. But always be sure in your ongoing police work that you protect yourself from hepatitis C (and other blood-borne pathogens) by using universal precautions if you are in a situation where blood may get on your hands or in your eyes. Wear gloves and protective goggles

Q- My sister said she has no idea how she contracted hepatitis c, is that true?

A- No Identifiable Source of Infection-Source
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, injection drug use accounts for approximately 60% of all HCV infections in the United States, while other known exposures account for 20-30%. Approximately 10% of patients in most epidemiological studies, however, have no identifiable source of infection. HCV exposure in these patients may be from a number of uncommon modes of transmission, including vertical transmission, and parenteral transmission from medical or dental procedures prior to the availability of HCV testing. There are no conclusive data to show that persons with a history of exposures such as intranasal cocaine use, tattooing or body piercing are at an increased risk for HCV infection based on these exposures solely. It is believed, however, that these are potential modes of HCV acquisition in the absence of adequate sterilization techniques.

Q: I am a nurse who has recently been diagnosed with Hep C. I am very careful with needles, use precautions and do not know how I could have got infected with this disease. Now I am wondering if I have to quit my job because I will be passing it on to my patients. Is it possible to work as a nurse with this diagnosis?

A: This is a very tough spot for you to be in, I'm sure. There are many aspects to consider in your situation. While the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) provides some employment protections for those with hepatitis C, there are grey areas depending upon what type of duties you typically perform and whether "reasonable accommodations" are possible without presenting undue risks to others. I am not a legal expert, so my comments here are limited. One suggestion would be to talk with your nursing supervisor. Depending on where you work, your human resources department may also be able to assist you in deciding how to handle your situation. Your state and/or local nursing professional organization is another possible resource. In your note, I sense a strong altruistic commitment to your work. Perhaps your duties can be changed such that there is no possibility of accidental exposures for patients such as health education or infection control oversight. I wish you the best as you look for a way to both take care of your own health needs and those of others.

Q: I was told by a nurse that someone could get hep C from another person if they share toothbrushes. Is this true?

A: This is a true statement. People's gums often bleed when they brush their teeth, so sharing toothbrushes can create blood-to-blood contact that may lead to the transmission of hepatitis C. Everyone should have his/her own toothbrush and only use that toothbrush.

Can you catch hepatitis C by sharing makeup?

A: Hepatitis C is transmitted by blood-to-blood contact. Sharing makeup may not be a good idea for other reasons, but it is not a means for HCV transmission.

Q: My father-in-law has hep C. He shares everything he eats and drinks with my daughter. Is she at risk?

A: Hepatitis C is not contracted through food or drink. It is contracted by blood-to-blood contact. Your daughter is not at risk of contracting hepatitis C from her grandfather in this manner.

Q: I had eaten a hamburger and found out I have hepatitis C. Can hepatitis C be contracted from eating bad meat?

A: You cannot get hepatitis C from eating contaminated food. Hepatitis C is spread by blood-to-blood contact.

Q: What products can I buy to kill the traces of hepatitis c in my home to prevent my family members from becoming infected?

A: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend diluted bleach to clean up any blood spills to prevent possible transmission of HCV. For example, mix 1/2 cup of chlorine bleach with 5 cups of water. When cleaning up a blood spill, you should wear protective safety gloves. Remember, hepatitis C is spread by blood-to-blood contact. Casual household contact such as eating together, cooking together, and playing together does not present a risk for noninfected members of the household.

Q: I have tested negative for HCV antibodies at 22 and 34 weeks post sexual exposure. Can I be sure I am not infected?

A: The hepatitis C virus is not commonly transmitted through sexual contact, though it can occur. Most vast majority of people who are infected with the hepatitis C virus develop antibodies within the first 6 months. Given that your exposure was through sexual contact and that you have tested negative for HCV antibodies twice more than 6 months from the exposure, the chance that you have the virus is extremely remote. If you want additional reassurance, you can repeat the antibody test again at 12 months post exposure and/or have a molecular test for the virus itself (an HCV PCR test).

Q: I had two abortions in the 70's and am wondering if this may be a possible source of exposure to the hepatitis C virus. Were the procedures in place then adequate to protect from HCV exposure?

A: If good sanitation and sterilization procedures were being practiced, there should have been no blood contamination on the instruments from one person to another. However, if these procedures were not being followed, or if an abortion was performed outside of a health care setting, then the potential for exposure to hepatitis C could be present. If in doubt, ask your doctor for a hepatitis C screening test.

Q: I am a nurse who was accidentally splashed with urine from a patient with HCV. What is my risk?

A: I am not aware of any document cases of hepatitis C transmission through contact with urine. Hepatitis C is contracted through blood-to-blood exposure.

Q: If you have a baby, but the mother is not infected with Hep C only the father is, what is the chances of the baby getting hep C?

A: If the mother does not have hepatitis C, a baby is not at risk of hepatitis C from an infected father at the time the baby is conceived, while it is in the womb, or at the time of birth.

After the birth of the baby, care should be taken to ensure that the baby does not have any accidental contact with the father's blood. As long as there is no blood-to-blood contact between the baby and the father, there is no risk to the baby.

Hepatitis C is not transmitted by hugging, kissing, or any other form of casual household contact

Q: Can dry blood transmit Hep C?

A: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that the hepatitis C virus can survive on environmental surfaces outside the body at room temperature for at least 16 hours but no more than 4 days. So yes, within this time frame and under specific conditions, dry blood that contains the hepatitis C virus can be a source of infection if there is blood-to-blood contact.

Q: How long can blood be contagious out of the body with HCV?

A: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that the hepatitis C virus can survive on environmental surfaces outside the body at room temperature for at least 16 hours but no more than 4 days. Therefore, blood that is infected with the hepatitis C virus can still be contagious if there is blood-to-blood contact within this time frame.

Hepatitis C Survival on Inanimate Objects
We usually think of Hepatitis C as a virus that is passed from person to person. However, most infections occur via an intermediary, inanimate object. Thus, determining the length of time Hepatitis C can survive outside the body is crucial to prevent transmission of this virus. 

Q: I am a male considering a relationship with a woman who has informed me that she is living with hepatitis C. I have not had any vaccinations against any form of hepatitis. Let us assume that we would be monogamous. I want to know of the risks of transmission - and what increases and decreases these risks? What are the risks of transmission in fellatio, cunnilingus, vaginal intercourse, and anal intercourse?

A: First things first: if you have not been vaccinated against hepatitis B, it is best for you (as a sexually active adult male) to begin that vaccine series. If you have not had hepatitis A, you can be vaccinated for both hepatitis A and B at the same time.

Now, on to your questions. Overall, the risk of sexual transmission of hepatitis C in a long-term, monogamous relationship is low (reported at anywhere from less than 1% up to 5% depending upon the study and the study parameters). However, that said, perhaps a more useful response to your question is to say that hepatitis C is transmitted by blood-to-blood exposure. Sexual practices that involve blood-to-blood exposure are therefore logically more risky (in terms of possible transmission of the virus) than those that do not. Oral sex (whether fellatio or cunnilingus) does not appear to pose a risk for transmission of hepatitis C based on all currently available evidence.

Q: My wife testing HCV positive one year after we were married. I was then tested but my test was negative. My wife uses my shaving machine and I am worried I may have gotten the virus in this way. Please help.

A: Since the hepatitis C virus is spread by blood to blood contact, and shaving equipment is likely to contaminated with blood from small nicks (and can cause small nicks in the skin), shaving equipment should never be shared.

I would advise you and your wife not to share shaving equipment, and that you be tested again in another 4 to 6 months to be sure you have not been infected by this route. I urge you and your wife to talk with your doctor together to discuss other possible sources of exposure and what measures are best to prevent you from becoming infected. And remember - hepatitis C is a condition many married couples live with. It can be challenging, but many couples have found ways to both be safe and have a happy, fulfilling marriage.

Q: Can you get hepatitis C from body fluids other than blood?

A: The United States Public Health Service states that, "In addition to blood and body fluids containing visible blood, semen and vaginal secretions also are considered potentially infectious. The following fluids also are considered potentially infectious: cerebrospinal fluid, synovial fluid, pleural fluid, peritoneal fluid, pericardial fluid, and amniotic fluid. The risk for transmission of HBV, HCV, and HIV infection from these fluids is unknown. The potential risk from occupational exposures has not been assessed by epidemiologic studies in health-care settings. Feces, nasal secretions, saliva, sputum, sweat, tears, urine, and vomitus are not considered potentially infectious unless they contain blood. The risk for transmission of HCV (along with HBV and HIV) from these fluids and materials is extremely low."

Q: What are the chances of getting hepatitis C from a blood splatter?

A: Hepatitis C is a blood-borne virus, so blood spatter from an infected person that comes into contact with an open wound, or mucous membrane (e.g., the blood splashed into the eye) can potentially lead to transmission of the virus. However, the risk of transmission of the hepatitis C virus by this route appears to be rather low (estimated anywhere from less than 1% to approximately 7%).

Q: I went to a restaurant recently and when the lady was preparing a salad for me, she wiped down the bowl they use to mix the salad with a cloth. My question is what if the cloth had blood on it from one of them and it was transferred onto the bowl which had my salad prepared in would I catch hep c this way?

A: Hepatitis C is transmitted by blood-to-blood contact only. It is not trasmitted by ingesting contaminated food.

While there are many other reasons why you might be concerned about a lack of cleanliness at your local restaurant, getting hepatitis C from the food is not an issue.

Q: I recently found out my kitchen hand (also friend) has hepatitis C. She often cuts herself and is quick to bandaid and glove her hand. Can the unseen blood residue on the container be contagious if soneone else's open wound touches it? How long can the blood remain contagious out of the body?

A: The best way to clean up blood is to use a 10% bleach solution (1 part bleach to 9 parts water). This will inactivate any residual hepatitis C particles (or other blood-borne pathogens) that may be left on the surface.

Q: Can you get hepatitis C working with a patient that has this disease? For example, I had a small cut on my finger and I put the bedpan under a patient with hepatitis C and rubbed my finger on her bedding accidently. Can I get hepatitis C that way?

A: Hepatitis C is transmitted by blood-to-blood contact only. Unless the cut on your finger was open and the sheets had your patient's blood on them, there is no risk of contracting hepatitis C in the manner you described. Remember, however, that health care workers should always protect themselves from all blood-borne pathogens by using universal precautions when coming into contact with body fluids.

Q: I was wondering how much blood would have to be transfered for someone to contract hepatitis C ?

A: There's no set amount of blood that is sure to transmit hepatitis C. However, in general, the larger the quantity of blood containing the hepatitis C virus one is exposed to, the greater the risk of being infected with the virus.

Q: Can you get it from someone else if you share a smoke with them?

A: Hepatitis C is transmitted only through blood-to-blood contact. So no, you cannot get hepatitis C from someone by sharing a smoke with him/her.

Q: My 8 month old nephew tested positive for hepatitis C. His mother just found out she has hepatitis C and they say she gave it to him at birth. What will happen to the baby?

A: Testing babies for hepatitis C can be rather tricky because when the mother has hepatitis C, she passes the antibodies to the baby, and those antibodies can still be in the baby's blood for 8 months to a year after birth. If your nephew was given a hepatitis C antibody test, it is possible that his mother's antibodies were what caused his test to be positive. The only way to tell for sure if an 8-month old has hepatitis C is to test his blood for the virus itself. This test is called by several different names including viral load and PCR. You may want to double check with the doctor that ran the test to be sure your nephew was tested for the virus itself and not the antibody. If your nephew does have hepatitis C, his mother will need to talk with his pediatrician about having him followed as he grows to monitor him for signs of liver damage. If this occurs, there are treatments available that clear the virus in about half of those treated. Try to take a deep breath and check with the doctor about the test that was done on the baby - and then take the next steps. Good luck to you, the mom, and this little one.

Q: My son bit the finger of someone with hepatitis C. Is he at risk?

A: Since hepatitis C is not transmitted by ingesting it (swallowing it), your son would not be at risk of contracting hepatitis C from the person he bit even if he bit the person hard enough to draw blood.

Q: Can you get hepatitis C from a cat scratch. If a cat scratches someone with hepatitis C can it be given to someone else living in the house that is scratched by the cat?

A: There has never been a reported case of hepatitis C being passed via a cat scratch. I cannot say it is impossible if there were a significant amount of blood involved and the scratches were deep - but it is my opinion that it would be highly unlikely to be infected with the hepatitis C virus is this way.

Q: Is is possible that you can pass on hep C via bath water?

A: The hepatitis C virus is transmitted by blood-to-blood contact. It is not transmitted through bath water.

Q: My husband has hepatitis c and my children and I don't. Our plumbing is backed up and my husband is really scared that we might contract hepatitis C. Are we at greater risk just by breathing it?

A: Hepatitis C is not transmitted by inhaling it. It is also not transmitted by exposure to fecal material. Your plumbing problem does not put you or your children at risk of contracting hepatitis C. Hepatitis C is contracted by blood-to-blood contact only.

Q: Can you get hepatitis C from changing someone that had a bowel movement?

A: Unlike hepatitis A, hepatitis C is NOT transmitted by what is known as "the fecal-oral route." For other reasons, you want to be sure you wash your hands whenever coming in to contact with fecal material, but hepatitis C is not transmitted this way.

Q: Does proper handwashing help prevent the spread of hepatitis C? Does hand sanitizer help?

: Since hepatitis C is not transmitted by ingesting it, hand washing is not a way to prevent the disease. Hepatitis C is transmitted by blood-to-blood contact only.

Q: If you open mouth kiss a person with hepatitis C, can you get the disease?

A: There is no evidence to suggest that hepatitis C can be spread by open mouth kissing.
The hepatitis C virus is transmitted by blood-to-blood contact.

Q: Can hepatitis C be transferred to an unborn child?

A: There is a risk of hepatitis C transmission from mother with hepatitis C to her unborn child at the time of birth. The risk is about 4 in 100 or 4%. However, the risk is significantly higher (about 19%) if the mother is infected with both hepatitis C and HIV.

There is currently no treatment to prevent these infections from occurring.

Q: I belong to a kickboxing club for women, and one of our new members has hepatitis C. The girls occasionally graze their knuckles on the focus mitts while punching and a small amount of blood is present. Is there any risk of infection from the mitts being used by others?

A: Hepatitis C is spread by blood-to-blood contact. Someone with an open wound would have to have that wound come into contact with infected blood in order for there to be a risk of transmitting the hepatitis C virus.

There is often confusion about what is meant by an "open wound." An open wound is one that is still bleeding or still oozing fluid. A wound that is scabbed over and nothing is coming out of the wound is a "closed wound" and therefore is not a possible entry site for the hepatitis C or other blood-borne viruses.

To prevent the possible transmission of hepatitis C (and other blood-borne viruses such as HIV and hepatitis B), any equipment that may be contaminated with blood from any source should be cleaned before being used by someone else.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that you clean up any blood (including dried blood) using a 1:10 bleach solution - one part bleach to every 10 parts of water. Anyone cleaning up blood or dried blood should wear protective gloves.

Many people with hepatitis C are unaware they have the virus. The same may be true with other blood-borne viruses. For everyone's safety, it is best to handle all blood spills by cleaning up the blood with a 1:10 bleach solution while wearing protective, disposable gloves.

Q: I am in the food-serving business and I just found out that I have hepatitis C. I am unable to find any info on what I need to know about having this virus and my field of work. Is it safe for me to continue working in food service?

A: There are different hepatitis viruses, the most common being hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C. Each hepatitis virus is different.

Hepatitis A is most commonly passed to others through food. But hepatitis C is not passed to others through food. Hepatitis C is transmitted from one person to another through blood-to-blood contact. Some of the common ways of having blood-to-blood contact that can lead to transmission of the hepatitis C virus to another person include (but are not limited to): sharing drug needles, sharing other drug paraphernalia (such as straws), contaminated medical or dental equipment, street tattoos, unsterile manicure or pedicure equipment, sharing razors, etc. Hepatitis C can also be transmitted mother-to-child at birth, or sexually (though this is rare) if the sexual activity involves blood-to-blood contact.

Hepatitis C is not passed to other people by sharing kitchen utensils, glasses, or dishes. Further, hepatitis C it is not spread by casual contact with others

There is a lot of confusion about the different hepatitis viruses. Because hepatitis A can be passed through food, people in the food service industry sometimes get confused and think that all hepatitis viruses can be transmitted through food. This is not true. Again, it is only hepatitis A that is transmitted through food, not hepatitis C or hepatitis B.

None of your coworkers or customers are at risk of contracting hepatitis C from you through food. You cannot transmit the hepatitis C virus to anyone by simply preparing, serving, or delivering their food

Q; Is Hepatitis C Transmitted by Breast Milk to Infants?

There is no strong evidence that hepatitis C is transmitted through breast milk. A few studies have been done that tested breast milk and very rarely is hepatitis C found. Recently, the CDC issued a statement explaining that mothers who have hepatitis C may breastfeed, but should avoid breastfeeding if their nipples are cracked or bleeding

Question resources

55 comments:

  1. My friend and I share the same shampoo. Is there any way to contract the disease from sharing shampoo.

  1. No, hepatitis c is only transmitted through blood to blood contact.
    Enjoy the shampoo and your friend.

  1. i accidentally used my husband's toothbrush, am i at risk to get hepatitis c??

  1. Although rare, personal care items such as razors, toothbrushes, cuticle scissors, and other manicuring or pedicuring equipment can easily be contaminated with blood. Sharing such items can potentially lead to exposure to HCV.


    However, studies are thinly distributed on household transmission of HCV. At Medscape you can find a paper published in the Journal of Viral Hepatitis in 2006 which tested the saliva of thirty patients with chronic hepatitis C before and after toothbrushing. Results were; In nine patients (30%), the saliva before toothbrushing was positive for HCV-RNA, and in 11 patients (36.7%) HCV-RNA was detected in the saliva after toothbrushing. Five of these 11 patients tested negative for saliva samples before toothbrushing. HCV-RNA polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was positive in as many as 12 of 30 specimens (40%) of the toothbrush rinsing water specimens . In six of these 12 patients, the saliva before toothbrushing had been negative for HCV-RNA.

    The study concluded; "The mere finding of HCV-RNA on the surface of contaminated tools does not prove potential transmission of the virus by these tools, of course, and the low infection risk usually published for household contacts of hepatitis C patients provides good evidence against a significant role of transmission by household objects. Nevertheless, our data prove a possible contamination of personal care objects, suggesting at least a theoretical risk of infection by sharing them. Thus, our study strengthens the recommendations to pay attention to a clear separation of personal care objects between patients and their household members. Considering the great epidemiological importance of hepatitis C, further examinations and maybe even official instructions concerning publically used and possibly contaminated objects such as razors in barbershops are indicated

  1. Also See;A Hard Look At The Transmission Of Hepatitis C
    http://hepatitiscnewdrugs.blogspot.com/2011/03/hard-look-at-transmission-of-hepatitis.html

  1. If a person is at the end of their hep c treatment, and the blood work has said they are virus free... is that person still able to pass Hep C to another person via needle?

  1. Hi there,
    SVR is defined when HCV RNA (the virus) remains nondetectable by PCR(viral load test) for at least six months after treatment discontinuation. If this person has not shared injection drug equipment including; needles, swabs, spoons, filters, water container,cookers, and tourniquets, or any other means of transmission "after being nondetectable" they can not spread the virus. Hepatitis C virus RNA has been detected on 70% of syringes, 67% of swabs, 40% of filters, 25% of spoons, and 33% of water containers. However, if this person is an IV user, they are at risk for re-infection. HCV has a higher IV transmission rate then HIV.

  1. I just got another tattoo and the apprentice that tattooed me forgot to cover her spray bottle with plastic. The last person that she tattooed before me was 3 days before. If some blood got onto the bottle from her gloves and then 3 days later went from the bottle to my tattoo is there a high risk of exposure?

  1. Here is a great site for information on HCV and tattoos http://www.hepatitistattoos.org/

  1. I have herpes but never have had a breakout and I have hep c and have been told its not active what are the chances of passing either to my partner during unprotected sex in order to conceive?

  1. If hep C is transmitted during sex, it is likely to be through blood-to-blood contact. This emphasises the need for safe sex practices where there is a risk of blood-to-blood contact, e.g. sex when you have cuts or lesions on or close to the genitals, during anal sex (because the anus lining is easily broken), during menstruation, and during sexual practices that may involve bleeding or broken skin.


    If you have any condition that involves scratching, sores or blisters (especially when these may come into contact during sexual activity) the possibility of blood-to-blood contact and transmission of STIs is increased.

    Its best to talk with your doctor and discuss the risk of transmission.

  1. have read a lot on your pages.There is no mention about if my friend who has
    hepatitisC has blood in his saliva from his gums,mine will bleed once in a
    while 60 years old,and sprays a droplet into my drink or I inhale it can
    I get it?

  1. Only if that blood enters your bloodstream through an open wound. The hepatitis C virus is transmitted by blood-to-blood contact.

  1. Can the DRUGS being used to treat one person's HCV (Interferon and an anti-viral) be transmitted to and absorbed by another person through the patient's saliva or semen? Also, how long does it take for the HCV treatment drugs to be absorbed by the body, and subsequently eliminated?

  1. Ribavirin Warning
    Combination therapy that includes ribavirin can be extremely harmful or even fatal to an unborn child. Extreme care must be taken to avoid pregnancy in female patients and in female partners of male patients during therapy and during the "6 months" after stopping therapy. Women should not breastfeed while on PEGASYS,PegIntron, alone or in combination with COPEGUS/Ribavirin.

    Interferon leaves the body fairly quickly, pegylated interferon takes a bit longer.
    As for HCV antiviral therapy being absorbed via body fluids ? I do not remember seeing this documented.

  1. A guy I'm talking to says his father has Hep C. He says he doesn't have it himself but can't it be dormant? If so, what are my chances of contracting Hep C?

  1. In hepatitis C infection, symptoms may not appear until liver damage has
    occurred, which can take a decade or more. It does not mean that the virus can not be transmitted, it only means that there are no symptoms or liver damage "yet", hence the term dormant. However as the disease progresses liver damage will occur. Alcohol will expedite the progression of HCV.
    HCV is spread primarily by exposure to human blood. Approximately 80 percent of persons who share needles to inject drugs are infected with HCV
    Like hepatitis B virus, hepatitis C virus is spread when blood of an infected person enters the body of a person who is not infected, such as through sharing needles or "works" when shooting drugs or occupational needle stick injury. The risk of sexual transmission has not been thoroughly studied but appears to be low in long-term, monogamous relationships. There is no evidence that the hepatitis C virus can be transmitted by casual contact such as hugging or shaking hands, through foods, by sharing eating utensils or drinking glasses, or by coughing or sneezing. Infected persons, regardless of whether they have symptoms or not, can transmit their infection to others through blood to blood contact. The incubation period (the time between initial contact with the virus and the onset of the disease) for hepatitis C ranges from 2 weeks to 6 months, most commonly 6 to 9 weeks.
    Your friend can always be tested, on this blogs sidebar is a link to free home testing.
    Wishing you the best
    Tina

  1. i had a wound in my mouth not open or anything, it's actually my gum. i left a drink out and my little brother got to it by mistake could he have the virus? again i was not bleeding at the time although the gum is still somewhat of a wound??

  1. Hepatitis C is transmitted by blood-to-blood contact only,it is not transmitted by ingesting. If infected blood comes in contact with an open wound it can lead to the transmission of the virus.

  1. if i do not have hepatitis c and i only use clean needles or my own needles but use them more then once can i contract hepatitis c from my own equipment?

  1. If you have never shared needles or equipment in the past, and have been tested, thus knowing for sure that you do not have HCV, then no, you can not become infected. As reported an estimated 60% of intravenous recreational drug users in the United States have been infected with HCV. Researches have found that sharing a needle just one time can transmit hepatitis C, researchers warn that "HCV is nearly 10 times more transmissible by IV use than HIV." On the side bar of the blog is a link to free testing. A test will be delivered to your door, you may want to click on the link and learn more about it. Wishing you the best my friend.
    Tina

  1. Tina,

    Do you think a non oozing but non scabbed/ non closed cuticle wound would be a sufficient opening?
    Thanks.

  1. Statistically no one can say it is impossible. Hepatitis C is transmitted by blood-to-blood contact. On the sidebar of this blog is a free mail order HCV test available. Recently a new report at the American College of Gastroenterology's (ACG) 76th Annual Scientific meeting entitled -Hepatitis transmission risk needs to be studied in nail salons, barbershops. You can view the article by putting this url in your browser http://hepatitiscnewdrugs.blogspot.com/2011/10/hcv-news-ticker-hepatitis-transmission.html.
    The review of the published literature identified eighteen papers, including nine case-control studies, three case-series studies, and six population-based surveys, that assessed manicure, pedicure, or barbering as potential risk factors for HBV and/or HCV infection. Of the nine case-control studies, five evaluated HBV and/or HCV in nail salon settings and three of the five showed association with HBV and one of the five showed association with HCV. Eight of the nine case-control studies evaluated HBV and/or HCV in barbershop settings and five showed association with HBV and two showed association with HCV. The case-series studies and surveys are less indicative of an association for HBV and HCV in nail salon or barbershop settings. Caution is required in interpreting these findings because there are substantial heterogeneities in the population studied, sample size, case and control selection, analytic method, and control of confounding variables across studies. Furthermore, none of the nine case-control studies was conducted in the United States.

  1. I was caring for a patient infected with hepa C, is it possible that her body fluids that could be in contact with my watch enough to transfer infection?

  1. Can your scratch/abrasion enough to be a portal of entry?

  1. Hello, I'm just wondering if you dry your hands on a towel which is used by someone who has hep c AND HIV, is there any risk of contracting either disease if I go on to touch food I am eating with my hands? If in the unlikely event there was any small traces of dried blood or saliva on the towel?

  1. HCV and HIV is not contracted through food or drink. If the towel was tainted with infected blood and you sustain an injury from it,(highly unlikely)then the virus could be introduced into your bloodstream.

  1. Anonymous asked -Can your scratch/abrasion enough to be a portal of entry?

    Hepatitis C is a blood borne virus. Transmission of the virus may only occur when an infected persons blood enters the bloodstream of an uninfected person. The point of entry for infected blood can be a fresh cut or broken or punctured skin.

    Thus for transmission to occur, the blood of an infected person needs to come into contact with the bloodstream of another person. In the ordinary course of things, hepatitis C is not easily caught, however, it is worth thinking about any instances in which blood to blood contact may take place and taking appropriate precautions. Hepatitis C cannot be caught from sharing hugs, kisses, food, cups, gym equipment, office space or public transport.

    The risk of transmission can be influenced by a person's viral load (the level of virus in the blood). For this reason, risk of transmitting hepatitis C is increased during the initial acute phase of infection - lasting up to six months after catching the virus.

    Read More Here http://www.can.org.au/Pages/Hepatitis_C/Protecting_Yourself.aspx

  1. Anonymous asked
    December 5, 2011 7:01 AM

    I was caring for a patient infected with hep C, is it possible that her body fluids that could be in contact with my watch enough to transfer infection?

    Hepatitis C is spread by blood-to-blood contact. For transmission of the virus the blood of an infected person needs to come into contact with the bloodstream of another person.

    Unless blood is present, saliva, sputum, sweat, tears, feces, nasal secretions, urine, and vomitus carry a low risk of transmission of HBV, HCV, and HIV.


    Can HCV be spread within a household?
    Yes, but this does not occur very often. If HCV is spread within a household, it is most likely a result of direct, through-the-skin exposure to the blood of an infected household member.

    Sharing personal items contaminated with infectious blood, such as razors or toothbrushes (also inefficient vectors of transmission)

  1. Hi, if my hair touched dried blood, then after that my hair touch a wound(which is caused by vaccination injection which is new), is that possible to contract hcv? Thank you!

  1. My husband is a professional MMA fighter and occasionally there is blood on her shorts or t shirts... I cannot wash these in bleach as it will ruin the fabrics. Will a wash in hot water and laundry detergent followed by the dryer on the higest cycle kill the virus? Or will it still be present in my washing machine getting transferred to other clothing and possibly infecting us?

  1. My aunt has hepC and often chews her nails till it bleeds. She was using my computer the other day and I made sure to clorox wipe the counter. I used the keyboard for awhile but then read that bleach is supposed to be used to clean it. I have a closed cut on my finger so should I be worried about having contracted anything from dried blood??

  1. I work as an anesthetist and got saline on my finger from an arterial line that had blood in it and was then flushed what is my risk of hep c transmission from this positive patient?

  1. Exposure defined
    CDC-"An exposure that might place HCP (health care personnel) at risk for HBV, HCV, or HIV infection is defined as a percutaneous injury (e.g., a needlestick or cut with a sharp object) or contact of mucous membrane or nonintact skin (e.g., exposed skin that is chapped, abraded, or afflicted with dermatitis) with blood, tissue, or other body fluids that are potentially infectious (16,17)."

    The entire document is available at http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5011a1.htm

    Also see
    Blood/Body Fluid Exposure Module
    This module can be used in any healthcare setting where there is potential for occupational exposure to blood and body fluids among HCP.
    http://www.cdc.gov/nhsn/PDFs/HSPmanual/4_HPS_bbfExpos.pdf

    According to the university of Washington -No cases of occupational HCV have been documented with exposure to intact skin. Two cases have documented transmission from mucous membrane exposure, both of which involved large splashes of blood into the eyes. The vast majority of cases of occupational HCV transmission have involved percutaneous exposures. As with HIV, deep penetration of the needle into the skin appears to increase the risk of transmission.
    http://depts.washington.edu/hivaids/index.html

  1. my boyfriend recently was told that he is not infected but the indicators are in his blood? Does this mean he carries it? that I can catch it? thru blood to blood contact? likelihood slim through sexual transmission?

    Just a little concerned

  1. You may want to ask him a few more questions about which HCV blood tests he has had in the past.

    Below are tests used to diagnose hepatitis C.

    If we assume he tested positive for antibodies then further, confirmatory testing is required.

    The test used to determine if the virus is active is called ‘HCV RNA by PCR’ test - see more below under ***HCV Viral Load (HCV RNA test, Quantitative)

    The following tests may be used to screen for and/or detect HCV:

    Anti-HCV test detects the presence of antibodies to the virus, indicating exposure to HCV. This test cannot distinguish between someone with an active or a previous HCV infection. Usually, the test is reported as "positive" or "negative." There is some evidence that if the test is "weakly positive," it may be a false positive. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that weakly positive tests be confirmed with the HCV RIBA test before being reported.

    HCV recombinant immunoblot assay (RIBA) test is an additional test ordered to confirm the presence of HCV antibodies. In most cases, it can tell if the positive anti-HCV test was due to exposure to HCV (positive RIBA) or represents a false signal (negative RIBA). In a few cases, the results cannot answer this question (indeterminate RIBA). Like the anti-HCV test, the RIBA test cannot distinguish between a current or past infection.

    HCV RNA test, Qualitative may be used to distinguish between a current or past infection. It is reported as a "positive" or "detected" if any HCV viral RNA is found; otherwise, the report will be "negative" or not detected." It may also be ordered after HCV treatment is complete to see if the virus has been eliminated from the blood. These tests are seldom used any more.

    PCR
    ***HCV Viral Load (HCV RNA test, Quantitative) detects and measures the number of viral RNA particles in the blood. Viral load tests are often used before and during treatment to help determine response to treatment by comparing the amount of virus before and during treatment (usually at several time points in the first three months of treatment). Successful treatment causes a decrease of 99% or more (2 logs) in viral load soon after starting treatment (as early as 4-12 weeks) and usually leads to viral load being not detected even after treatment is completed. Some newer viral load tests can detect very low amounts of viral RNA.

    Read More Here http://labtestsonline.org/understanding/analytes/hepatitis-c/tab/test

    Hepatitis C is transmitted only through blood-to-blood contact.

    If hep C is transmitted during sex, it is likely to be through blood-to-blood contact. This emphasises the need for safe sex practices where there is a risk of blood-to-blood contact, e.g. sex when you have cuts or lesions on or close to the genitals, during anal sex (because the anus lining is easily broken), during menstruation, and during sexual practices that may involve bleeding or broken skin.

    Final note,some people clear HCV spontaneously,and will still test positive for antibodies. Spontaneous viral clearance of the virus is often found in acute infections-(the first 6 months after infection with HCV)

    I hope this helps
    Always Tina

  1. If I touched the hand of someone with dried Hep C positive blood and then 10 minutes later touched my chapped lips (no visible blood), is there a likely risk of transmission of Hep C?

    Thank you!

  1. My friend has Hep C. He hit his nose on the couch, started bleeding, he said a word to me and blood from his nose hit his mouth and 4 teeny tiny blood drops sprayed on my face . Can I get hep C from the small drops of splatter hitting my face? Should I get tested? can a small tiny amount infect me through my eye? And when should I get tested? This happened two nights ago.
    Thanks.

  1. Hepatitis C is a blood-borne virus, so blood spatter from an infected person that comes into contact with an open wound, or mucous membrane (e.g., the blood splashed into the eye) can potentially lead to transmission of the virus. However, the risk of transmission of the hepatitis C virus by this route appears to be rather low (estimated anywhere from less than 1% to approximately 7%).

  1. I recently found out a freind of mine has hepatits c. I slept in the same bed as her and in the morning I noticed some blood on the sheets from menstrual bleeding. I had some open cuts on my fingers is there any way I could've contracted hepatitis c by putting my hand on the bloodstain while I slept and can the virus move from the bloodstain or would it just be contagious on the exact spot of the blood stain.

  1. Hepatitis C is considered to be a blood-borne virus – this means for transmission to occur there has to blood-to-blood contact. This occurs when the blood of one person enters the blood stream of another person through an opening or rupture in the skin, or rupture in the lining of the mouth, nose or anus etc. For HCV to be transmitted, infected blood needs to exit the body of one person and then directly enter into the blood stream of another person. Household transmission can occur through blood-to-blood contact, but is rare. The chance of a person contracting hepatitis C through contact with infected dried blood is low. According to the CDC the hepatitis C virus can survive on environmental surfaces outside the body at room temperature for at least 16 hours but no more than 4 days. "Statistically" if within this time frame and under specific conditions, dry blood that contains the hepatitis C virus can be a source of infection if there is blood-to-blood contact.

  1. Near the end of April this year, I open-mouth kissed a girl (who I have reason to believe may be infected with Hep. C) at a party. During the act, she pulled away because, according to her, she was bleeding. I neither saw nor tasted any blood, and I didn't have any open wounds in my mouth. I haven't experienced any flu-like symptoms or anything specific to Hep. C, as far as I can tell.

    Am I at risk?

  1. There is no scientific evidence to suggest that hepatitis C is transmitted through kissing; therefore kissing is OK. We suggest avoidance of kissing if one of the two individuals has a sore or open lesion in the mouth or on the lips.The only way of transmitting hepatitis C in a kiss would be for two people with actively bleeding areas to kiss and exchange blood that way.

    cleveland clinic

  1. I know someone with hep c who gets sores on the skin from scratching from morphine use. He said that they are not infectious once they are no longer actively bleeding, and don't pose a risk for someone catching hep c from him because they are 'dry' and there's no blood coming out. Is this true? What would be the risk (percentage wise)? If not true, what would need to happen in order for this to be passed on. IE: What if he touched these sores with his hands, then touched another person. Would that be a high chance of infection to the non-hepc partner? Thanks.

  1. Hepatitis C is considered to be a blood-borne virus – this means for transmission to occur there has to blood-to-blood contact. This occurs when the blood of one person enters the blood stream of another person through an opening or rupture in the skin, or rupture in the lining of the mouth, nose or anus etc. There is often confusion about what is meant by an "open wound." An open wound is one that is still bleeding or still oozing fluid. A wound that is scabbed over and nothing is coming out of the wound is a "closed wound" and therefore is not a possible entry site for the hepatitis C or other blood-borne viruses. As for dried blood see the URL provided.
    HCV Survival In Dried Blood

    As reported an estimated 60% of intravenous recreational drug users in the United States have been infected with HCV. Researches have found that sharing a needle just one time can transmit hepatitis C, researchers warn that "HCV is nearly 10 times more transmissible by IV use than HIV."

  1. I work in a dental setting. A few weeks ago I was taking an X ray on someone, when the cavitron tip (which is an instrument that has water shooting out of it to clean your teeth) scratched my arm. I immediately washed my arm with soap and water. I wasn't bleeding, it was only red. Everyone around me said that they wouldn't bother getting a blood test because it wasn't a deep scratch and there was no blood. I still went for the blood test and everything came back fine. However, two weeks later the patient came back in for a blood test and it was found out that he had Hep C. The nurse told me that the doctor finds it unlikely that i have it. That he doesn't think the follow up blood work is necessary. Now even tho my blood test came back fine. Is it still possible that I may have contracted it? I'm so worried and cant function until my next follow up blood test. Which is in two months. Thank you.

  1. I agree with the doctor. Hepatitis C is a blood-borne virus, so blood from an infected person must come into contact with an open wound, or mucous membrane (e.g., the blood splashed into the eye. The hepatitis C virus cannot penetrate unbroken skin and is killed by the digestive juices in the stomach if it is swallowed

  1. My husband is Hep C positive, my three years old son scratched his dad's skin with his nails, my husband's skin was red with no blood coming out immediately but few minutes later there was what I believe to be a tiny blood dots at the scratch site, I immediately washed my son's hands and carefully clipped his nails and during this process one of the nails accidently came into my sons's eye and scratched the white part and it became congested.
    What are the chances that my son will get infected with HCV if this nail had any contamination with the virus from this scratch.

  1. Hepatitis C is a blood borne virus. In theory the Hep-C virus would not show up on skin. Transmission of the virus may only occur when an infected persons blood enters the bloodstream of an uninfected person. The point of entry for infected blood can be a fresh cut or broken or punctured skin.
    Links
    Scratch on child
    As for transmitting HCV via the eye, the only documentation available would be in a healthcare setting; HCV transmission by blood splashing into eyes is very rare, although possible.

  1. I have a cut on my hand which has just recently scabbed over. While working in my pharmacy I served a patient with hcv and gave him a glass of water to take his medication. I later spilled the remaining water from the glass over my hand and scabbed wound - could this lead to me getting hcv even though my cut wasnt bleeding at the time?

  1. Hepatitis C is transmitted only through blood-to-blood contact. This means that the blood of someone who is infected with the hepatitis C virus has to come into contact with the blood of someone else for transmission of the virus to occur.
    The hepatitis C virus is not transmitted by sharing eating utensils or dishes.

  1. Can you get hepatitis C from sleeping on a mattress from someone who has hepatitis C.

  1. Hepatitis C is transmitted only through blood-to-blood contact. Transmission of the virus may only occur when an infected persons blood enters the bloodstream of an uninfected person. The point of entry for infected blood can be a fresh cut or broken or punctured skin. Sleeping in the same bed or mattress of someone infected with the virus will not transmit HCV. As reported an estimated 60% of intravenous recreational drug users in the United States have been infected with HCV. Researches have found that sharing a needle just one time can transmit hepatitis C, researchers warn that "HCV is nearly 10 times more transmissible by IV use than HIV."

  1. Can you get hcv from an electrologist not wearing gloves? My practitioner appeared to have a healing cut on her hand and did not use a glove on that hand, her other hand was gloved. The unprotected hand was the one holding the electrolysis device. Everything else was up to standard in terms of using a new needle and sterilized equipment. However, I believe the un-gloved hand touched my newly broken skin from the electrolysis at certain points. There was no visible blood on the hand and I did not realize they were not wearing a glove until after the procedure. As I am unsure how old the cut was, am I at risk of hcv infection?

  1. Unless the cut on the practitioners hand was bleeding and blood-to-blood contact was made, you are not at risk for contracting the virus.

Post a Comment