Question

Dear Dr. Feinberg, I have written you before about my husband. He has PML with no other diseases. He has been sick since Dec. 99'. He has been on interferon since June 2000. His last MRI showed no progression of the PML, so he is pretty stable.
After giving my husband his shot of interferon (pen type) I stuck my self with the needle, it was deep enough to make me bleed. Obviously I am very concerned. I know it's very likely that I already have the JC virus. Is the risk greater since he has PML?? Would only the JC virus be transmitted. Please let me know in as much detail as possible. I know, I'll be much more careful!! Thank you

Answer

There isn't enough known about the transmission of JC virus for me to tell you that your risk of getting it is enhanced because your husband has PML, although that certainly seems plausible. The presence of JC virus can be detected using a PCR test, but it may not mean much even if it's positive, since no one knows whether this means that you'll develop PNL or not.

Please be careful. Ask your homecare service about safer needle equipment.