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Has she put my baby at risk?
Mar 23, 2007

Dear Dr McGovern, thank you for your time I know you are extremely busy. I caught my mother-in- law sharing her toothbrush (immediately after use and still wet) with my 6 month old baby who was teething (despite my strict instructions never to!)and she had admitted to doing this before. I am so angry and upset that she would do this but the thing that keeps niggling is that she had a blood transfusion 30 years ago. I am concerned that she may have contracted hepatitis c, but she's never been tested. She is otherwise healthy and to my knowledge drinks alcohol everyday with no ill-effects. I have searched your forum for an answer first and it said that sharing toothbrushes is 'not recommended' but that the risk is very low. I can't ask my mother-in-law to get tested as our relationship is fraught at times. Does my child need testing? I am losing sleep over this.

Response from Dr. McGovern

I do not think your child needs testing.

I do think your mother-in-law does need testing however. Perhaps, you can convince her to see her physician for a routine check-up and tell her to inquire about whether her blood transfusion history in the past is anything to be concerned about. Alternatively, you can obtain some free brochures from your local health department on hepatitis viruses or go on the CDC website www.cdc.gov for information that you can share with her on the risk of blood transfusions in the past.



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