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Untreated water used to flush eyes
Mar 20, 2011

I'm in India and was in an old marketplace inDeli when someone threw colored powder in my face (it is the Holi festival of colors this weekend). It basically went right in my eyes and blinded me in my left eye. A man helped me flush my eyes out using a pump nearby...this is a really dirty place and i am very concerned about the water causing me to be infected with something. I needed to get the colored dye out of my eye as fast as possible so couldnt wait...the powder is full of bad chemicals I'm told, plus it was burning pretty bad. Eyes OK now, but red...jus worried about getting a disease from the water through my eyes

Response from Dr. McGovern

The only thing I would wonder about from possibly contaminated water is hepatitis A. However, you may have already been exposed in the past. You can have your hepatitis A IgG antibodies checked and if they are negative, you can think about getting a hepatitis A vaccine which is very effective.

You did the right thing by using the water, although you were concerned about the source. Your eye injury would probably have been much worse.

Even if the water was contaminated, I am not aware of Hepatitis A transmission through mucous membrane exposure.

To summarize, I don't think you have anything to be concerned about. If you are interested in getting the hepatitis A vaccine, I would check your blood test first to see if you need it in the first place.



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