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Avatar universal

self-reinfection while on TX

It is suggested that during initial phase of tx one should keep changing the tooth brush more frequently. what are other things to watch for to avoide self- reinfection.  Any ideas/suggestions?
37 Responses
87972 tn?1322664839
I think changing toothbrushes out for viral purposes during treatment is obsessive. The virus has been shown to exist for up to four days only on environmental surfaces… and that's under ideal circumstances. I don’t see any advantage--

Avatar universal
In order to reinfect you have to clear the inititial infection.
Dying traces of RNA on a tooothbrush cannot replicate in the absence of liver cells.
I don't wish to be rude but this is a dumb thread-you cannot reinfect youreself in the face of an active infection as you are litereally creating billions of viral copiies daily without the help of your toothbrush
A good tip to avoid reinfectioin after you have cleared is don't shoot up!
Avatar universal
I think changing toothbrushes weekly/monthly is obsessive too.  Unless you like a new blade every time you shave, same thing goes for razors.  

Does it make a difference if you change either more frequently?  If you have that type of personality than physcologically YES.  Does it make a difference?  NO
Avatar universal
Not sure about reinfecting yourself but studies have shown that sharing toothbrushes is in fact one of the top ways of transmitting the disease. This along with sharing straws to snort drugs turned out to be more of a factor for transmission then first thought. Makes sense because most people bleed a little when brushing their teeth and also sometimes the nose bleeds when snorting.
Avatar universal
Copy: Not sure about reinfecting yourself but studies have shown that sharing toothbrushes is in fact one of the top ways of transmitting the disease.
Call me obsessive, but I changed toothbrushes weekly during treatment. They only cost a dollar each so I figured better safe than sorry. Same with razors. I used disposables and one use only.

But saying that sharing toothbrushes is "one of the top" ways of transmitting the disease seems a bit of an overstatement, and I'm unaware of any study data that supports it. You only have to look here, where many have had hepatitis C for a number of years without knowing it, and still have not spread it to family members in spite of sharing personal items. That said, the prudent thing for anyone HCV positive would be not to share personal items. And this is a pretty common recommendation from most HCV information providers.

-- Jim

9648 tn?1290094807
I read the link to natap. It says nothing about toothbrushes being a "top way of spreading the disease." What it does say is:

Conclusion: With sufficiently sensitive methods, a contamination with HCV-RNA can be detected at a large portion of toothbrushes used by hep. C patients. In spite of the low infection risk usually published for household contacts, transmission by contaminated every-day`s household objects appears to be possible.
Avatar universal
There are many more studies that list the possibility. The same way there are studies that show It is possible to share needles with HCV infected and not get the disease. Anything is possible with this disease and in reality they have only touched the tip of the iceberg with research. This disease is way to resiliant not to have many more things found out about it in the future.

We can not just let people think the only way they can get it is IDU ?  what i do know is many peoples gums bleed when brushing their teeth so that is good enough for me to put it as a "top way of spreading"" and not to share toothbrushes. I guess you have no problem with sharing a toothbrush with a family member?

Personally any possibility is good enough reason for me to not take the chance of infecting my family. this is just my own opinion.
best of luck
9648 tn?1290094807
I guess you have no problem with sharing a toothbrush with a family member?

OMG. Why ever would you say that? I posted no information about my own personal hygenic habits, and your suggesting this is rather insulting.

I simply responded to your opinion and misstatements about a study.

Regardless of your opinions and feelings that "We can not just let people think the only way they can get it is IDU ?" the proper thing to do is to point someone to the CDC or NIH for the information.


According to the CDC:

How is HCV transmitted?

HCV is transmitted primarily through large or repeated percutaneous (i.e., passage through the skin) exposures to infectious blood, such as

    * Injection drug use (currently the most common means of HCV transmission in the United States)
    * Receipt of donated blood, blood products, and organs (once a common means of transmission but now rare in the United States since blood screening became available in 1992)
    * Needlestick injuries in healthcare settings
    * Birth to an HCV-infected mother

HCV can also be spread infrequently through

    * Sex with an HCV-infected person (an inefficient means of transmission)
    * Sharing personal items contaminated with infectious blood, such as razors or toothbrushes (also inefficient vectors of transmission)
    * Other healthcare procedures that involve invasive procedures, such as injections (usually recognized in the context of outbreaks)


According to the NIH:

How could I get hepatitis C?
Hepatitis C is spread by contact with an infected person's blood.
You could get hepatitis C by
Man offering another man a syringe.
You could get hepatitis C by sharing drug needles.

    * sharing drug needles

    * getting pricked with a needle that has infected blood on it (hospital workers can get hepatitis C this way)

    * having sex with an infected person, especially if you or your partner has other sexually transmitted diseases

    * being born to a mother with hepatitis C

In rare cases, you could get hepatitis C by

    * getting a tattoo or body piercing with unsterilized, dirty tools

You can NOT get hepatitis C by

    * shaking hands with an infected person

    * hugging an infected person

    * kissing an infected person

    * sitting next to an infected person
Avatar universal
My hepatologist's pet theory is that the principal way people of my generation without known risk factors contracted HCV was via dental work.

He never mentioned toothbrushes but it's prudent to not share them, although most of us did. My husband and I inadvertently still do, despite our best laid plans.

Today, I believe IDU may be one of the main sources of HCV transmission but it was not the case in my generation, when transmission was often via medical and dental offices. I probably got mine through gamma globulin shots or a backstreet college deal to extract my impacted wisdom teeth at a rock bottom price. (In both cases, I got wildly sick.)
I would call those routes some of the top ones for transmission in that time period.

Avatar universal
s/b 'when transmission was often via medical and dental offices' in the absence of known risk factors such as transfusion or IDU.
Avatar universal
s/b: "when transmission was often via medical and dental offices in the absence of known risk factors such as transfusion or IDU."

s/b: "I would call those routes some of the top ones for transmission at that time, barring known risk factors like transfusion and IDU."
Avatar universal
portann, great point. dental work also has to be included as possibly one of  the top means of transmission. Probably a greater chance then sharing toothbrushes.

Greatbird, didn't mean to ruffle your feathers and by no way was I questioning your hygine. The way your original post sounded was sharing toothbrushes was no big deal. That is why I asked if you would let a family member use your toothbrush. Since you didn't answer the question I will assume you would not have a problem with it.

Lets just leave my "opinion" as this: NO one really knows how many other ways this disease can spread so why not just be extra careful if you have it. By this I mean if there is a remote possibility use common sense and avoid exposure.
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