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Hey doctor, I just had a question about infection spreading

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Answered by

Infectious Diseases Specialist
Practicing since : 2003
Answered : 547 Questions
Question
Hey doctor,

I just had a question about infection spreading just before I shook someone’s hand and his other hand was bleeding from a cut and I shook the other one but I wasn’t 100% sure if the other hand that I shook had any blood. I don’t have any cuts or anything on my hand that I shook with and I am unsure if they had any diseases but if they did what are the chances of it spreading through a handshake? I washed my hands with water straight after and used hand sanitizer as well.
Posted Thu, 23 Nov 2017 in Infections
 
 
Answered by Dr. Monika Dede 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
There is no risk for infection.

Detailed Answer:
Hello,
Thank you writing in healthcare magic.

Based on your history , shaking your hand without active bleeding cuts with an other hand with active bleeding , you shouldn't worry because there is no risk to get HIV or hepatitis B and C.
If you have cuts not visible in your hands the chance to get these infection are very low. It needed to have an open active bleeding cut to have an increased risk for infections.


I hope my answer helps you.
Regards.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Hey doctor, I just had a question about infection spreading 59 minutes later
Thanks for that doctor I didn’t have any blood on my hand after the shake either, I was just a bit worried about it and wanted to clear it up. Just out of curiosity sake if I shook someone’s hand that had bleeding but mine had no open cuts would the risk be there? Can you actually get HIV etc by this happening?
Follow-up: Hey doctor, I just had a question about infection spreading 3 hours later
correction - had open cuts*
 
 
Answered by Dr. Monika Dede 16 hours later
Brief Answer:
It depends on the size of the cut.

Detailed Answer:
Hello,
Thank you writing back.

If you have an open large bleeding cut and a direct blood to blood contact from shaking hand there exist the risk to get HIV and hepatitis B and C infections.
But if the cut is small and superficial there is a little to no risk to get these infections.

I hope my answer helps you.
Regards.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
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