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HCV transmission
May 9, 2010

My cousin at work, while talking to his co-worker HCV+, got a spit right into his eye and ran to washroom and washed his eye within 10 seconds of exposure. What are his chances of contracting HCV. I checked on your archives, one archive stated that saliva doesn't act as vehicle for transmission while other stated that there is incredibly small chance? Please answer, confused. thebody fan from Pakistan

Response from Dr. McGovern

Health care workers sometimes get splashes in the eye, but there is no clear proof of transmission of HCV from this route.

For example, to really "prove" this, you would want to analyze the virus from the "donor" to the "recipient" to show this it is exactly the same. To my knowledge, this has not been shown for an eye splash, which are considered extremely low risk.

Doubt your cousin is at risk and I don't recommend testing.

Hiv or Hepatitis?
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