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Blood exposure at work to Hep C
I had a blood exposure recently at work. I work in a hospital. I followed procedure and reported to occupational health, where they drew blood. Luckily the patient I had a blood exposure with was HIV negative, but tested positive for Hep C antibodies. I have been given the run around from occupational health and am worried. They told me that the patient was positive for HEP C antibodies, but had a low viral load, and that I should not be worried. One nurse told me I have to come in every 2 weeks for 6 months and have my blood tested, but when I went for my second blood draw another nurse told me I did not have to come back until DEC!!!!! Which one is correct. I am also worried because it is not in the patient's chart about the HEP C antibodies, and I do not want my co-workers to have to go through what I am going through. I expressed my concern to my supervisor, and they said  the same thing (patient had hep c antibodies, but low viral low non active virus). Is this correct? If someone has positive Hep C antibodies, but low viral low can they spread the disease. I have been having anxiety about this. I am married and would like my life to return to normal. I would also like to feel as if my place of employment cares about what is happening to me, and could happen to others.
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979080 tn?1323437239
1)The presence of antibodies only tells you the person been exposed to the HCV virus but not if the person has an active spreadable disease.

2) The presence of a viral load however large or small indicates active and spreadable infection.

When you are infected (HCV virus entering your bloodstream) the virus multiplies very rapidly and HCV RNA canl be detectable as early as 2-3weeks with a viral load test (PCR) The detection of antibodies can take longer.


http://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/HCV/HCVfaq.htm

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1747881 tn?1358189534
What type of exposure did you have, hep c is only spread by blood to blood contact only.

(patient had hep c antibodies, but low viral load non active virus). Is this correct? ------ No, if the patient has any viral load at all they have an active HCV infection

If someone has positive Hep C antibodies, but low viral load can they spread the disease,------ Yes


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979080 tn?1323437239
According to WHO website :

Host immune response
The first marker of HCV infection is serum HCV RNA detectable by PCR as early as 1 week after infection and increasing to 106 – 108 genomes/ml.

http://www.who.int/csr/disease/hepatitis/whocdscsrlyo2003/en/index3.html

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