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Hep b/c survival outside the body! Please explain WHY!
Aug 3, 2001

Dear Sir,

Could you please explain WHY hepatitis B and or C cannot be transmitted outside the body. After reading many articles I still see many possibilities why it could, so hopefully this posting can clear out this issue once and for all to me and all others who have still doubts about this. Thanks in advance!:

If you say that hep B/C could survive for several hours, isn't it dangerous if you would get in contact with it (public toilets, etc..) and you would rub your eyes (which people with contact lenses do quite often) could infect you?

Also, as long as semen or blood are not dried out, could hepatitis B or C still be alive in it?

And the other way around, does drying out assure you that the hepatitis virus is dead (keeping in mind that it can survival multiple hours).

Last question: if you touch something that feels sticky (that is not dried out) and you have reason to suspect that it is semen or vaginal fluid, should you be very carefull that it can not enter your body (not touching eyes, etc..)? In fact, is it proven how much blood/semen/vaginal fluid contains enough hep b/c virus capable of transmitting the virus?

Thank you very much for your response!

Response from Dr. Dieterich

This is last time I am answering this question. It is possible for viruses to live outside the body for a short time while they are still wet, for example inside a blood clot. However, these viruses have to get into your blood stream to cause an infection. Therefore one would have to do something really ridiculous to catch something from a bloody toilet seat. You can certainly catch diseases in the bathroom but you get them from someone not something. Wash your hands and have safe sex and forget all this! DTD



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