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Avatar universal

Hep C Bite!

Hello. I was bit by a hep C positive patient on 2/28/17 on my left dorsal side of hand. I was wearing a glove but my skin was broken. I am not sure if the patient bit me through the glove or my direct skin. This happened all too quickly and I am worried. The bite mark is very small and it only bled a little. How soon can I test? And what are the chances I contracted hep C? I don't think the patient was bleeding
4 Responses
683231 tn?1467323017
Hepatitis c is a blood borne virus. Hep c transmission requires hep c infected blood to enter your blood stream.

In the situation where a healthcare worker experiences an accidental needlestick involving a patient with known hepatitis C the risk of transmission is only about 1.8%.

Normally you would test for hep c antibodies then if that is positive you would then test for the hepatitis c virus itself to confirm you are currently infected with a HCV RNE by PCR test.

I found this on a VA website reference hep c testing:

"If a person exposed to hepatitis C becomes infected, virus particles (called HCV RNA) can be detected within 1-2 weeks. Liver function tests also will tend to rise during this timeframe. Hepatitis C antibodies appear after RNA is detectable and can take 3-12 weeks to appear."

So you would probably want to wait for at least 12 weeks to test for antibodies.

However this was a very low risk incident.

Would also like to mention,  none of us here are healthcare professionals including me.

The best way you can get an answer for your question is to speak to a doctor or other medical professional.

It sounds like you may work in health care. Have you not received any hep c training?

Here is a link to FAQ about hep c for health care professionals from the CDC

683231 tn?1467323017
Also found this at


Human bites: bloodborne pathogen risk and post-exposure follow-up algorithm.

Lohiya GS, et al. J Natl Med Assoc. 2013.

Human bites may transmit bloodborne pathogens (BPs) by exposing the biter's oral mucosa to the bitee's blood and the bite wound to biter's saliva. Consequently, bites may require postexposure follow-up per the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) BP standard. Literature reveals that BP transmission via bites is rare. Review of available records in our developmental center identified no bite-related BP transmission between 1993 and 2011. To avoid unnecessary testing while remaining OSHA-compliant, we propose an algorithm for selective follow-up of bites. Since hepatitis B virus can be transmitted by mucosal exposure to blood and, rarely, also by nonintact skin exposure to blood-free saliva, all biters and bitees require hepatitis B follow-up. Since hepatitis C virus and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) transmissions require "visible blood" exposure, and since saliva is usually bloodfree, risk of HCV-HIV transmission from biter to bitee is negligible. Therefore biters need HCV-HIV testing only after bloody saliva bites. Since biter's oral mucosa invariably gets exposed to bitee's blood (reverse exposure), all bitees should be tested for HCV-HIV infectivity. Our proposed algorithm may prevent harm and waste from unnecessary biter testing and venipuncture.

PMID 23862301 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

As I read this it says you the "bitee" are not at risk and that in fact the "biter" would be at higher risk from you if you were infected with hep c.

Again from above for emphasis and temembering that you are the "bitee" and the patient was the "biter"

"Since hepatitis C transmission require "visible blood" exposure, and since saliva is usually bloodfree, risk of HCV transmission from biter to bitee is negligible. Therefore biters need HCV testing only after bloody saliva bites. Since biter's oral mucosa invariably gets exposed to bitee's blood (reverse exposure), all bitees should be tested for HCV infectivity."
18601474 tn?1466188088
I'm sorry this happened to you. It sounds like you're not at risk. Here is some more information about how Hep C is spread.

Avatar universal
Make sure to note if you get any of the following symptoms in the next few months
-Bad fatigue
-Abdominal pain (especially in the right side)
-Light faeces and/or dark urine
But based on what I found you are likely not at risk.

Just to add the majority of people infected with hep c experience no symptoms  which is why it's called a silent illness.

Waiting for symptoms that don't come is not informative.

If you are still concerned wait at least 12 weeks and have the antibody test.

But again you are likely not at risk.
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