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transmission of hepatitis virus
Dec 13, 2007

I apologize if you have answered this already, but I haven't been able to find any information about this specifically anywhere. I am a mental health care intern and we have some clients with hepatitis B and C. I know that these viruses can live in dried blood for several days. We have had infection control nurses tell us that these viruses can be transmitted via dried blood. My question is, under what circumstances could that happen? If someone's clothes were to touch something with infected dried blood, if those clothes then came in contact with an open cut, would that person be at risk? We don't want to worrry unnecessarily, but we don't want to put people in harm's way, either. Any information you could provide would be most appreciated. Thank you so much!

Response from Dr. McGovern

Yes dried blood can have live virus for some time; however, it would still require that this virus get into someone's bloodstream to infect them. That would be highly unlikely from environmental contamination.



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