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Can dried blood contain the virus?
Jun 16, 2001

My husband delivers medical supplies including tables; while moving an old one today they found dried blood on the floor near the legs. Can this blood contain the virus? no on (nurses, his boss's pharmacist girlfriend) seemed too alarmed, but it has me FREAKED out! Should I be?

Response from Ms. Breuer

Dried blood will not contain infectious HIV, which does not survive contact with oxygen. It might contain hepatitis B. But either disease can only harm someone who comes into direct contact with the blood through a fresh cut or a mucous membrane. Activating the hepatitis virus if it's in the blood at all requires moisture and an opening into someone else's bloodstream.

Your husband can take his cue from the nurses. Even wet blood containing HIV, had it been there, would have needed an immediate gateway into your husband's bloodstream to do any harm.

Does that feel better? I hope so. This is one fear you can put to rest.

And since your husband's occupation involves delivering medical supplies, you could increase his protection from hepatitis B by reminding him that any cut on his hands needs to be covered by a bandage before he handles medical supplies. This is a good time to prevent future freaking out over hepatitis!



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