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Hepatitis spread
Sep 24, 2011

I find it odd that many Q/A's say that "absolutely no" to spreading Hep B/C through food, but you can through a toothbrush. Seeing as they both go into your mouth, whatever issues both parties have in their mouths are the root cause. The toothbrush is just the transportation.

Why then would food and ot fork have no ability to transport this? If you are sharing food with someone that has it? In fact Barbara answer this precise scenario in the negative.

That is amazing to me as it makes no logical sense, yet it is being provided as an answer from a doctor.

Clearly if blood to blood is the method, how the blood travels makes no difference.

I wouldn't go around saying things like "Absolutely No". It's careless and ignorant.

If i have a cut in my mouth, and they have a cut in their mouth - why couldn't a fork or pasta transfer it?

The answer should be kept simple, explain the method of infection, and then list possible scenarios where that can take place.

Furthermore, the only way you would know that "Absolutely No" is accurate is for the medical community to have absolute vectoring of every single case of Hep. I would go so far as to say that very little cases have absolute vectoring.

Act professionally. Be responsible.

Response from Dr. McGovern

There are many epidemiologic studies that have evaluated the transmission of hepatitis B and hepatitis C. Through these studies we learn what is - and what is not - a risk factor for hepatitis B or hepatitis C transmission.

Based on these studies, sharing razors and toothbrushes with a hepatitis B or hepatitis C infected person is discouraged. This is related to the amount of blood that can be found on a razor or a toothbrush.

Testing people for hepatitis B or hepatitis C when there is no clear cut risk is a concern in and of itself. Regardless of the diagnostic test used - or the disease in question - when you test persons at low risk for a disease, you increase the risk of getting a FALSE POSITIVE test. This is a plain fact based on statistics. This leads to unnecessary further testing and unnecessary patient anxiety, which can be severe. Thus indiscriminate screening is unfair to patients. If hepatitis B or C was transmitted by sharing food utensils, most of the US population would be infected.

Thus, doctors need to be responsible and to screen appropriately based on medical evidence.

My advice is based on carefully done studies - it is not just my opinion. I have pasted the links below to the CDC websites that give information about transmission based on evidence-based medicine.

http://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/HBV/HBVfaq.htm#treatment

http://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/c/cfaq.htm#cFAQ08



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