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routes of hep c exposure
Dec 4, 2009

Dear Dr. I am an OCD sufferer and have obsessional fears about contracting hep c. I worry about cashiers having scratches on their hands and arms and maybe getting blood on my items and then transferring to me - I sometimes have chapped and cracked hands from excessive hand washing. My therapist has me step on bandaids that are laying on sidewalks and public places to help the OCD fears decrease- they only increase as I feel that I may have been exposed. I also worry about the bottoms of peoples' shoes that they may have stepped in infected blood and that if they brush against clothing that contaminates the clothing, the washing machine and my whole family my contract the hep c virus through any scratches or openings in the skin. I would just appreciate some perspective on how valid my concerns are in contracting the hep c virus> Thank you!

Response from Dr. McGovern

I am glad that you are working with your therapist regarding these issues.

To help you put a medical perspective on it....If HCV was as easy to acquire as you fear, then basically everyone in the US would be infected...With that said, only 1.8% are infected, and the majority have well-known risk factors, such as injection drug use.

Hope that helps



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