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Blood spread around household
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Blood spread around household

Hi Doc,

A friend of mine who has Hep C (not sure of hep b status) recently cut his hand badly whilst at my house. He immediately washed his hand and covered the cut with a bandage. At the time I never thought anything more about it.

It was only 3 days later that I became really paranoid that there might be tiny invisible particles of blood on door handles, light switches, taps and the sink itself. I have a little boy who is always covered in cuts and grazes, and regularly picks at scabs etc etc. What would be the risks if he did this with the virus on his hands? I am also worried that the virus was splashed over toothbrushes when my friend washed his hand in the sink.

I have read that Hep c can survive on surfaces for up to 4 days and Hep B for even longer. I did check and could see no traces of blood. Could even miniscule invisible amounts of blood still be infectious after a short period of times assuming it came into contact with an open cut (via rubbing a graze, picking a scab etc)? Or am I being overly paranoid?

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Dear Jennyd1975,

Surface contamination is one of the routes through which blood borne organisms spread. As you correctly mentioned, hepatitis C survives for 4 days while hepatitis B may survive for up to 6 weeks.

Though very rare, the development of hepatitis C through surface contamination is possible. The exact probability of infection in such cases is however unknown. Hence I would advise you to get tested for HBV RNA PCR after two weeks and HCV (ELISA) after 6 weeks if you suspect exposure.  Discard toothbrushes if you suspect splashes on it. You may clean potentially infected surfaces with lysol/ bacillocide.

Do not panic. I would again say that the risk of transmission through infected surfaces is extremely low.

Hope that this information helps and hope that you will get better soon.

Thank you for using MedHelp's "Ask an Expert" Service, where we feature some of world's renowned medical experts in their fields. Millions have benefitted from our service to get personalized advice for them and for their loved ones.

Best Regards,
Dr. Vaibhav Banait
Do  what my ex does.Wipe everything with germx. I was married for 2 yrs to awoman and she was not worried I was infected we never took precautions with sex. She never got it from me. Of course she booted me during tx. because of the anger it caused. I always resented being treated like a leper by the way.
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