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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

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Can HCV be transmitted through sharing a room with HCV patient?

Answered by
Dr. Sandip Kabra

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2009

Answered : 3078 Questions

Posted on Fri, 23 Oct 2015 in General Health
Question: what are the chances of contracting hcv after being in a room with a possible hcv patient, then touching mucous membrane? did not notice blood but wasn't looking. I did not touch her, just the table we were both sitting at. what if she had a small cut on her hand, touched the table, then I touched the table, then touched a mucous membrane like the eyes nose or vagina?

I understand hiv cannot be transmitted this way but would hcv(please correct me if I am wrong)
Answered by Dr. Sandip Kabra 41 minutes later
Brief Answer:
No chance of HCV infection by this way.

Detailed Answer:
Welcome to Health Care Magic,

I have read your query and understand the concern.

The hepatitis C virus spread via blood.It can also be transmitted by sexual contact but it does not spread through water, food or even touching.

The Hepatitis C virus can not survive outside human even if there was blood or some body fluid containing the virus.

Mostly this virus dies within few seconds when blood or body fluid comes out of body,so there is no chance of spread of infection even if you have touched the same place and immediately touched your mucus membrane like you said eyes,nose or vagina.

Dead virus can not replicate or thereby infection can not get transmitted.

Hepatitis C can be transmitted if the blood of someone who has hepatitis C enters your bloodstream by direct means like blood transfusion or during injection or sexual contact.

Hope you will understand now.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Neel Kudchadkar
Follow up: Dr. Sandip Kabra 1 hour later
OK I was under the impression that it is live for a day. I thought hiv died within seconds buy not hcv. I thank you for your answer but why do some say it's much hardier than hiv
Answered by Dr. Sandip Kabra 5 hours later
Brief Answer:
You are welcome.

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for your feed back.You are most welcome.

As I said,hepatitis C virus can not survive outside human body although some journals say it may survive up to hours or some days in favorable temperature according to new research.

Means blood spilled on the surface containing HCV can be still the source of infection but this kind of transmission of infection is rare.

Personally,I have not seen or even heard of any case of HCV reported like this from my XXXXXXX physicians and gastro-physicians.So I will not think about this kind of possibility.

Also,hepatitis (especially B and C) virus is much more vulnerable and deadlier than HIV because a person with HIV infection can live normally throughout the life especially with anti retroviral treatment.

However, in most of the cases hepatitis virus remain in dormant form in person infected with it but once it starts attacking liver cells it causes much more morbidity and mortality compared to HIV.

Also we have no definitive treatment against hepatitis virus till date.All are symptommatic treatment in hepatitis which is not the case in HIV.

May be these could be the reason people say HCV is harder than HIV.

If you have anything more to clarify,I will be happy to answer that.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Prasad
Follow up: Dr. Sandip Kabra 10 hours later
thank you again.
I truly appreciate your help. testing is not warranted from thus situation.

1. if not noticeable blood was present (she was not bleeding, at least I don't think) would water and hand sanitizer be sufficient? I didn't see blood but wasn't looking at the time because the though of hcv was not in my mind.

2. what would be a favorable temp/surface for survival?

3. do routine blood work test for hcv hcb and hiv without asking??
Answered by Dr. Sandip Kabra 2 hours later
Brief Answer:
Will answer one by one.

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for your feed back.

1) if there was no bleeding or any blood spillage from cut or wound,there is no possiblity of infection by any other means.

2) Favorable temperature for virus survival would be between 20 to 30 degree celsius or we can at room temperature.

3) routine blood tests like CBC,liver function tets may be done in case of suspected hcv or hbv infection.

However, specific tests must be done to rule out the chances of respective infection.

Ask me if you have any doubt further.


Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Vaishalee Punj

The User accepted the expert's answer

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