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Please save me from a trip to Europe, urgent!!!second time!!
May 22, 2005

Dear Dr s, First of all, I believe that your site is very very helpful to all of us lay people out there. I recently came to Africa (3months ago, to work in a humanitarian project. my work first involved interviewing refugees (only handshakes involved in that, and sitting around them) and the second part has been mostly office work with national colleagues and some interviews with beneficiaries (mainly sexworkers who have been victims of sexual violence). I did notice that they has uncovered wounds sometimes and touched them before they touched my hand... As it is hot there sometimes is a lot of sweat on their hands and once i felt a slight burn on mine after a hand shake.Should I be worried? If there is no sex involved??

Before coming to Africa, i had a blood test and just found out that I am not immune to heb B because I did not complete the first series of vaccinations in 2002! The only things that is worriing me is that I have nose bleed from the dry climate and sometimes touch it with my finger. Do you think that there is any problem with that assuming that I had dried blood from somebody else on my hand? Today I drank water and found out that the glass was a bit broken on the side. Do you think that if the person who washed it before or drank it had cut himselt and I drank afterwards would you consider a risk. There was no visible blood I only saw a small partical that resembled to dried blood; I keep worrying about all of it . I started my vaccines again but I am afraid that the cold chain was not good and I don't know if they work! if I had two vacination before in 2002 and now 3 (0-10 _21 days can I be protected? Please answer and help me carry on with my work!I know you will say that it is only through blood and sex, but I keep readig about the danger of being in high endemic countries what exactly is the risks besides obvious exposures?? Thanks A

Response from Dr. McGovern

The main risks are through blood exposure - sexual transmission and through injection drug use. Avoid sharing utensils and drinking cups, although the risk here is much lower.

Dr. McGovern



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