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How infectious am I
Feb 7, 2005

I'm sorry, I'm not sure if my letter have been sent. If affirmative, pls ignore this one.

Dear Dr Dieterich:

Although I fit the profile of an inactive Hb carrier, Im still very concern about my condition because theres so much information about this disease but many of them contradictory. My main concern is to know how infectious Im and how to avoid inadvertibly infecting other people. Im Eurasian living in Southeast Asia. I was told I was Hb carrier since 1987. My recent test result are: HBsAg positive HBeAg negative Anti-HBc positive Anti-Hbe positive Tested recently, with the same results. Liver function - normal (tested twice in three years interval) HB DNA (PCR) undetected or low. Ultra-sound showed normal liver, but slightly fatty.

My questions are:

Is it true that, as long as a person is HBsAg positive, hes still capable of infecting others, even if hes an inactive carrier? I dont feel easy telling other people about my condition (apart from the closes members of my family, that is, my wife and children), because Im not sure about their reaction, so I avoid close contact with anybody. But, I cant forbid people from come to visit my family and I wonder what kind of product would kill HBvirus? I wash my hands constantly, cleaning and disinfecting (with a mixture o bleach and dettol, diluted in water) the toiled and sink after using them. Can I wash utensils (cups, dishes and cutlery) that I use together with other peoples or should I wash them separately? Finally, I heard about the situation of pre-core mutant and that its quite frequent in the part of the world where I live, how can I know if Im in that category?

Im sorry to take so much of your time and please excuse me if my questions sound childish. Only God knows how dreadful I feel because of my condition.

Thank you very much. MF

Response from Dr. Dieterich

You are worrying much too much. Hepatitis B is transmitted only by blood and sex. Relax! You should get an alfa fetoprotein and an ultrasound yearly, but other than that you should not even think about it. The risk of infection even if you were infectious, which you are not, is only with blood and intimate contact, so stop all that obsessive compulsive behavior and live your life! DTD



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