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Hep. C Transmission
Nov 6, 2005

I recently received a needle stick through my work boot into the side of my left foot at work from a carelessly discarded sharp on a CPR patient. Good news,the patient was non-reactive for Hep. B, and HIV, however he turned up reactive for Hep. C. My initial blood tests have come back negative for all three, and my question(s) are: Should I get tested regularly and at what intervals and what are the most common means of transmitting Hep. C in a family environment? Specifically, I have been married for 19 years to the same woman, and we have four children 17-8 yrs. I understand that the risk of contracting anything from an unintended needle stick is remote, however, the last thing I want to do is infect my family. I need to know how intimate I can be with my wife. Can anything be passed on through passionate, wet (french) kissing, oral sex, or penile to vaginal and/or anal contact prior to ejaculation?

Response from Dr. McGovern

It sounds like your risk is extremely low.

However, I would get testing for HCV for six months, with HCV antibody at 3 and 6 months.

You can also request HCV RNA at 6 to 8 weeks, since most patients become infected in this time frame.

I would not be concerned about French kissing or oral sex. I would use condoms until you know your results are negative to be on the safe side since patients can get high levels of viremia in the setting of acute infection.

However, again I think your risk is low.

Dr. M



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