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Hepatitis b urine exposure risk? Please help!
Oct 31, 2006

Dear Dr McGovern,

I`m really extremely concerned and would really really like your advice. I have looked through the rest of the questions in the forum but am still confused as to whether or not I have encountered a risk. I am currently living in a country with an intermediate rate (2-7%) of hepatitis b infection. As soon as I arrived I had my first dose of the Hep b vaccine. About 2 weeks after my first dose I went to a nightclub and was wearing a long skirt which was dragging on the floor of the club and the floor of the toilets. It was soon soaking wet and smelt badly of urine (from when I had been walking around in the toilet as the floor was wet)Not thinking because I had drunk too much I tied up the skirt so that it wasn`t dragging on the floor. However earlier that night tripped and fallen over and had a largeish cut on my knee (not sure how deep it was, I think it was more like a graze but it was fresh and maybe bleeding) I think that its likely that the urine soaked bottom of my skirt could have been touching this cut for a significant amount of time. I`m really worried as I read recently that hepatitis b virus can live in urine and also there could have easily been blood on the floor of the girls toilers that I didn`t notice. Then two weeks later the same thing happened again (same club, same skirt, the end of it got soaking wet from the floor, it smelt of urine the next day although I didn`t notice at the time) and although the cut had healed by then I realised afterwards that I had a mosquito bite a few days on my knee that might still have been a bit raw. The first possible exposure happened about 2 weeks after my first shot and the second about 4 days before my second shot. Do you think I am at risk and need to be tested for hep b or try to get immunoglobulin? How long after acquiring the virus might I be infections to others? I`m really worried that I`ll get sick and also that I`ll pose at risk of infection to other people. I`m thinking that as I`m in a country with an intermediate rate of infection and hundreds of people use those club toilets some of them will definately have hep b. I`m sorry that my question is so long but please please please help answer these questions for me as I`m far away from home in a foreign country and don`t know who to go for for help and I`m really really scared.

Thanks you, and thank you for all the good work you are doing on this site to help so many people.

Response from Dr. McGovern

This does not sound like a significant risk at all. ALso you already got the first HBV shot, which does help against any potential exposures. Remember to follow up on all your shots.


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