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Baby's Possible Infection
Jan 25, 2013

Hi there,

I am a new mum of a 6-month old baby & I m so concerned about the safety of my baby girl. Today some incidents took place & I am afraid that they might have put her at risk of contracting HIV and/or HEP C. My baby is in the teething phase, so she always puts her fingers in her mouth as she is in pain. Today, I went to the hospital as I have been suffering from a low back pain & I had an appointment. So, some people at the hospital, patients with back problems like myself, kept pampering my baby and touching her hands. The thing is I noticed that she immediately put her hands in her mouth, which didnt give me the chance to wipe or clean her hands straight away. I am concerned as I think maybe one of those people's hands had blood on them, or their hands were not thoroughly washed from blood if they had the menestruation cycle or any kind of wound. Some medical sources state that Hep C virus can survive for up to four (4) days, which is why I m so concerned. At the same time, there is a high possibility that my baby has bleeding gums, whether because of the teething process itself, or because of the fact that she keeps putting her fingers in her mouth, which is scaring me even more. Also, a lot of times, my baby scratshes her own skin till it bleeds with her own finger nails. I always tend to cut her finger nails regularly, like every two (2) days, but she manages to scratsh her skin even if her nails were short. The wound shows as a small speck of blood on her skin. So, I m concerned because she could have scratshed one of those people's hands, and that person might have been wounded from my baby's hand's scratsh (even if it was only a small speck of blood), then when my baby put her fingers in her mouth immediately, and given the fact she has bleeding gums, she could have contracted HIV or HEP C if that person was infected. Now, my question is, what are the chances of my baby girl's contracting HIV or HEP C virus from the incidents explained above? Should my baby get tested? If yes,should she be tested for HEP C only? or both HEP C & HIV? Appreciate your prompt feedback. Thanks for supporting a worried mother.

Response from Dr. Wohl

I can imagine no reasonable way that your infant could have been infected with HIV or HCV during this visit to the hospital. These are not viruses that people catch casually. They do not get transmitted from hand to hand or hand to anything, really. Further the mouth is not all that hospitable to either,

Your baby is fine.

DW



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