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What are the chances of getting the viral infection by a single needle prick of HCV positive patient?

Jan 2013
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Answered by

Internal Medicine Specialist
Practicing since : 2003
Answered : 1658 Questions
hello doctor,
actually im myself a problem is that there is one patient in my ICU who was found to be HCV virus initially reactive but the final report came out to be non reactive. thing is while putting the central venous line in this patient i had a needle prick thru my gloves. im really worried and apprehensive that i might get the viral infection because of this my questions are as follows :
1. though the final report of that patient has come out to be HCV NONREACTIVE ; do i still have a chance of getting the HCV virus because of this prick.
2. if at all the patient is HCV positive wat r my chances of getting the viral infection by a single needle prick of this sort and
3.when should i get tested myself to know whether i have got the HCV infection because of this prick.
Posted Sun, 7 Oct 2012 in Infections
Answered by Dr. Mayank Bhargava 54 minutes later
Thanks for posting your query.
although report came negative but if patient is in window period then there is chances of getting infection.
The incubation period for acute hepatitis C averages 6 to 10 weeks.
Most persons (~80%) who develop symptoms.
What was his HIV status?
If he is also suffering from HIV then HCV test comes negative.
The risk of acquiring hepatitis C by needle-stick injury is extremely low, ranging from 0 to 10.3 %.
However, viremia can be detected very rapidly (within an hour) in exposed personnel without this leading to persistent infection while seroconversion to anti-HCV can occur very late.
You should go for Anti-HCV and if in doubt, go for HCV RNA 4-6 weeks after needle prick.
Then in 4 to 6 months another HCV antibody and RNA test and ALT again.
This is recommendation by CDC.
Put your views also.
Take care,
Dr. Mayank Bhargava

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