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Can Hep C survive on your body?

This is probably going to be my last question for a while because I know I'm obsessing too heavily on this and I don't want this to turn into anxiety. I'm asking this question because I want to get my facts straight and not be ignorant. Websites say that hep C cannot be killed with soap and water and can survive on a clinical or household surface for 6 weeks. If someone were to bleed directly on your skin or say by accident or you touched somebody else's fresh blood and the disease didn't pass through your skin because you didn't have any open wet bleeding wounds. To clean the blood, websites say to wash your hands with soap and warm water. Now I am confused because soap cant kill Hep C. So does the disease just stay on your skin for six weeks or does it just perish because your hand isn't a clinical or household surface or does it just wash away? For example my friends tongue was bleeding and she touched her tongue with her hand. I walked away to go talk to somebody and my friend touches the middle of my hair with both hands. Say there was still blood on her hands and that blood got on my hair. I washed my hair 3-4 times with shampoo and also swam in a chlorine filled pool. This may sound delusional, but is there a chance that since soap and water can't kill hep C virus that my hair contains the disease and I can somehow get it from my own hair if I touch it with a small wound on my hand?!!! Should I not touch my hair for the next 6 weeks? Is it possible for somebody else's blood that contains hep C to get on your skin and hair and not perish for 6 weeks? I'm sorry for bothering you with so may annoying questions.
2 Responses
683231 tn?1467326617
While it is true Hep c can survive for periods of time on surfaces in an undisturbed situation those durations you have seen referenced are for hep c blood left totally undisturbed with no attempt to clean.

The mechanical action of washing removes the hep c virus. It is washed away with the rinse water. The virus does not stay on your skin or any other surface after washing. This is why the CDC recommends hand washing over alcohol gels for hand cleaning during cold and flu season.

Also when cleaning surfaces potentially contaminated with hep c infected blood for example in a medical lab or for responders cleaning up a blood spill a weak bleach solution is used. This solution effectively removes the hep c virus from surfaces.

As you said Hep C infected blood has to enter an open, wet, weeping wound not simply lay passively on a surface. Please continue with your normal activities there is no risk.

As this person is a friend could you possibly simply ask them if they have hep c? If they are not infected there is zero risk of transmission under any circumstances. People who know they are infected in general are very cautious to avoid infecting others. But even if your friend does have hep c there would be no risk from the situation you have described.

Have you considered discussing your anxiety with your doctor? There are medications and counseling available to help with your fears.

Best of luck
I don't think the friend even knows what hep C is and thank you so much for answering all my questions, easing my anxiety and informing me that hep C is removed with the mechanical action of washing.
Is your friend at risk of being infected? Have they had a blood transfusion before 1990? Are they an IV drug user? Are they a medical professional. Are they a member of the baby boom generation or were they born to a mother infected with hep c?

Only about 1% of the US population has hep c. If your friend has no risk factors it is very improbable they have hep c.

So one more reason you are not at risk.

683231 tn?1467326617
Here is a link to the anxiety community

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