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Hepatitis C Infection from the Environment
Apr 22, 2012

Hello, I have read that hepatitis C can live in the environment for at least 16 hours but not longer than 4 days.

In your opinion how likely is it to get infected with this virus through environmental contacts? Do I need to be worried every time I get a cut out in public?

I understand I would not get HIV from cutting myself on something a HIV infected person just cut themselves on because the virus does not live outside the body that long. But I am unclear with Hepatitis C.

Thank you in advance for your answer.

Response from Dr. McGovern

You are correct that HCV can live in the environment, but we don't have proof that this is a vehicle for transmission.

It is was, I would imagine that a lot more than 1.8% of the US population would have been infected. Furthermore, most persons do know their risk factor for acquisition of the infection.



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