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hep c and personal hygiene items (nail clippers)
Mar 31, 2010

Dear Dr. McGovern, Thank you for kindly donating your time to this site. The basis of my question is that in the past, I have seen information stating that hep c lives for days or weeks on surfaces. I was forced to use a friend's nail clippers to trim a piece of my fingernail that was poking out and causing quite a bit of pain. I did not cut myself and I don't know my friend to have hep c. Prior to using the instrument, I poured alcohol-based mouthwash over the clippers and then swabbed them with rubbing alcohol. I know this probably sounds like a medically unnecessary question, but my friend works in the medical field and talks about how misunderstood hep c is, and I deal with a lot of healthcare information but do not have a medical background. This all adds up to my not knowing which info to trust - so I come to you and this site which I am familiar with. I just had a physical a few weeks ago and didn't have hep a,b,c, so i'm kind of depressed now about doing something irresponsible. Did I nullify the risk by using alcohol?

Response from Dr. McGovern

I would not consider clipping a nail with clippers from another person to be a risk taking behavior since blood to blood exposure would not have occurred.

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