Aug 15, 2002
I have become increasingly concerned about accidentally becoming infected with HBV or HCV. Is it possible to become infected after contact with someone who comes straight from work in a prison (and is constantly around and touching infected inmates who may be bleeding)? I am fearful of touching anything I feel may have come into contact with someone working in a prison, needle exchange program, etc. thinking there is a possibility an object having infected blood on it will come into contact with me.
Is this crazy??
Thanks for your help.
Response from Dr. Fried
Educating yourself about how these viruses are transmitted can help you deal with your fears. First, get the HBV vaccine so that you can be immune to HBV (not that you can become infected based upon your description)and you won't have to worry about HBV anymore. HCV is not acquired easily and requires direct blood-to-blood contact. Even a direct needlestick from an HCV infected person will transmit HCV only about 3% of the time. It is not transmitted by casual contact. Try the CDC website for more info about transmsission and prevention. cdc
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