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please OCD rebound
Oct 9, 2006

Dear Dr. Mc Govern, just a foreword: Im already seeking psychyatric help cause I fear I have OCD. I have a question for you that really important for me to receive: so please do answer me cause Im in terrible struggling.

I need to know IF hands to mouth transmission of HBV/HCV is possible.

I work as a technician In a lab wheee they deal with human blood/plasma.

My major concern is that i can pass my fingers on dry blood plasma (microscopic stains of) and that I can contract the virus via hand to mouth transmission (being a chronic nail biter, or just by case, putting hands to mouth, ya know ...).

I am very confused: I read many different things in internet AND in the litearture. Somewhere they say that the potential for HBV transmission through contact with environmental surfaces has been demonstrated. And that HCV can be found in the hands of subject that touch something with dry-HCV + blood on

So... are we doomed? (OK Im vaccinated agaist HBV, but no vaccine for HCV exists). If I touch something thats dry (blood, palsma,... with viruses inside) and then I make hand to mouth... viruses will crawl into my mouth and then its done.

In this precious site I find that all these possibilities are theoretical and almost impossible.

But... whats the truth?

Please do answer me. I need an answer, I swear I'm doing all my best to fight against my fears (already followed by psy). In the farmeof my therapy your "custom made" answer will be a precius gift aand help, both for me and my psy.

Im in terrible pain !


P.S. recently I have worked with palsma of people tested for HbsAg, and HCV... all negative... but I think what if they were in their window period?

Response from Dr. McGovern

If you are a laboratory worker, you are using universal precautions so your risk is already low.

Yes there is information that HBV can stay viable in dried blood for several days; however, the risk of transmission is not well established. This is probably mainly due to the fact that transmission of HBV is mostly efficient with blood to blood exposure - either through injection drug use or sex (where you can get minor abrasions and bleeding).

For hepatitis C, we don't have any evidence of oral transmission.

As a lab worker, your main risk is in needlesticks.

hcv relation
high bilirubin levels

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