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Throw out razors and toothbrush after starting treatment.
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Throw out razors and toothbrush after starting treatment.

I want all you opinions....I want my husband to throw out and start new with toothbrush and razor. He is on day 3 of Hep c treatment. I was even thinking about toenail clippers....He brushes his teeth so hard, the toothbrush bristles get smashed and gums bleed.
Why take any chances of reinfecting, right???
17 Comments Post a Comment
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1669790_tn?1333666195
Its a good idea to change your toothbrush every few months since they wear out and more frequently if you have gum disease since they can harbor bacteria.  Razors become dull after so many uses so that's an easy one.  

The Hepatitis C virus can survive outside the body at room temperature, on environmental surfaces, for at least 16 hours but no longer than 4 days.  Just wait one week for the next toenail clip. ;-)
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1815939_tn?1377995399
I agree it is a good idea to change toothbrushes and razors frequently (even if one is not HCV positive). I know I change everything, frequently. I also changed things like mouth wash and lip balm. I think you can soak the toenail clippers in bleach to clean it, but they are not that expensive so you could also just get a new one. However, keep in mind, he is not going to know when he actually gets rid of the virus entirely. Even when he is UND, that does not mean the virus is totally gone. It just means they cannot find it. So changing things every few weeks would be a good idea.

Another thing, it has been discovered that HCV actually remains alive and infective (on fomites) for 6 weeks, much longer than the previously thought 4 days.

Definition of FOMITE
: an inanimate object (as a dish, toy, book, doorknob, or clothing) that may be contaminated with infectious organisms and serve in their transmission


Medscape Medical News
Hepatitis C Virus Remains Infective for 6 Weeks on Fomites

Lara C. Pullen, PhD
December 09, 2013

Drops of hepatitis C virus (HCV) dry and remain infective for 6 weeks at room temperature, according to a new study. Therefore, fomites may be a source of nosocomial HCV infections. The persistence of the virus on fomites may also underlie the continued high incidence of HCV infection among people who inject drugs.

Elijah Painstil, MD, from the Department of Pediatrics the Department of Pharmacology, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, and colleagues published their microculture assay results online November 23 in the Journal of Infectious Diseases. They designed their study to mimic the natural events that might lead to the transmission of HCV, using a genetically modified HCV laboratory clone that was derived from a genotype 2a virus.

Drops of plasma spiked with the 2a HCV reporter virus were placed into a 24-well plate and stored uncovered for up to 6 weeks. The drops ranged from 20 to 33 μL (mean volume, 29 μL). The investigators performed the experiment 3 times.

"In our simulation of real world risks of HCV transmission in settings conducive to exposure to HCV-contaminated fomites, we observed that cell culture derived HCV (HCVcc) could maintain infectivity for up to 6 weeks at 4° and 22°C. This finding supports our hypothesis that the increasing incidence of nosocomial HCV infections may be due to accidental contact with HCV-contaminated fomites and other hospital equipment even after prolonged periods after their deposition. Moreover, we found that HCVcc infectivity was influenced by HCVcc viral titer and the temperature and humidity of the storage environment," the authors write.

They add that all of the HCVcc-contaminated drops dried within 4 hours at room temperature and became easy to overlook. Dried drops are thus a challenge for infection control and are possibly a source of accidental exposure to HCV. "Given the infection control implications of our findings, we decided to investigate if commonly used antiseptics are effective against HCV. We demonstrated that bleach, cavicide, and ethanol are effective at their recommended concentrations," the authors elaborate.

Commercial antiseptics did vary in their anti-HCV activity. Bleach (diluted 1:10) was more effective than cavicide (diluted 1:10), which was more effective than ethanol (70%).


Wishing him good luck on treatment and wishing you both the best.
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Avatar_f_tn
I hadn't thought about the razor thing. Just helped shave him yesterday.  I certainly think it won't hurt to take these precautions. One use and out they go. He wears dentures so toothbrushes are not an issue for him.

Thanks for the suggestion.
Nan

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Avatar_n_tn
I threw my tooth brushes and razors out as I started treatment and again every few days.  Also changed them on 2 and 4 week PCR days....I was undetectable and 4 weeks so in the trash the old ones went.  Now it's a weekly exchange.  What's a few bucks for a new tooth brush and razor..not worth the risk of reinfection for me!!!
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1840891_tn?1383280315
Replacing toothbrushes and razors sounds like a good idea with no downside other than a small amount of waste. On the other hand, the risk of reinfection this way has got to be awfully small. I change my toothbrush about once a month always and kept the same routine during and after tx, without paying any special attention to the timing, and I achieved SVR without reinfecting myself. I never change my nail clipper unless I have to because I find they are really variable in how well they work. I have one really old clipper that cuts really well, with nice smooth and clean cuts, and four other newer ones that do crappy cuts, so I'm hoping my favorite one lasts forever. The idea of throwing those things out sounds awful, as I'm convinced that the quality has steadily declined over the years. I've never gotten blood on one of them, but if I did I would go with bleach disinfectant before considering replacing it.
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7469840_tn?1409849436
Thanks for the reminder. I had gotten new toothbrushes, and new razor (though now with rash can't shave anyway), I had not thought of clippers. So now have all our clippers, metal nail files, swiss army knife file, even little scissors, tweezer, soaking in alcohol. Changed out new toothbrush now for beginning of week 3.
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Avatar_f_tn
I am glad to see I am not the only one that is throwing away their toothbrush every few days. At 4 weeks if undetectable, I will be replacing everything, hair brushes, make up, make up brushes, nail cutters. Anything that I wouldn't use if it was someone elses. It is not worth it. I am worried about my braces on my teeth somehow reinfecting me from the blood when I clean them staying there.
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7469840_tn?1409849436
Maybe talk to your dentist about that. Maybe get a cleaning are 4 weeks? A mouthwash with hydrogen peroxide? Your dentist should be able to advise you.
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7469840_tn?1409849436
What is the best way to decontaminate brushes, clippers, etc? Alcohol, boiling water, dish washer top rack, bleach? Threw away all lip balms and lip sticks too.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you everyone. I will make sure he has all new things and change weekly. As for the nail clippers, will soak in a bleach solution and see what happens, if they don't rust!! May just get him a new pedicure kit ;p
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163305_tn?1333672171
If you consider that the virus can only live up to 4 days max, outside the body, I think there really is no need to disinfect everything. If it were me, and I was concerned, I'd set those things in the sun for 4 days and forget about it.

Please, remember, many of us had this virus for years or even decades and our family did not get infected. It doesn't hurt to be cautious but it isn't healthy to be paranoid.

Use common sense and do what makes you feel at ease.
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Avatar_m_tn
Don't really understand the reasoning here, if one changes weekly just how do they know if they became UND maybe 5 days before the change? Would they not then be using the same things until they changed again.

Never in all my years have I heard a Doctor or read a study that suggest this happens...
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Avatar_f_tn
I guess I am being cautious since I would scream if he were to reinfect himself! It is a remote possibility, but with our luck over the past year, maybe not that remote.  
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Avatar_f_tn
And you are right, who knows.
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1815939_tn?1377995399
In case people have not seen the Medscape article which I posted above, it has been discovered that HCV actually remains alive and infective (on fomites) for 6 weeks, much longer than the previously thought 4 days.

Definition of FOMITE
: an inanimate object (as a dish, toy, book, doorknob, or clothing) that may be contaminated with infectious organisms and serve in their transmission
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you for the info on the survival timeframe of the virus. This is one very persistent virus!!!!! 6 weeks.
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Avatar_n_tn
I changed my razor and tooth brush out often early on because although the risk of reinfection is low, it is there.  Feel good about my decision.  Why not take every precaution you can especially until UND.  Just my opinion!
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