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Can hepatitis B and C be contracted through ingestion of infected blood?

Answered by
Dr.
Dr. Pradeep Kumar

Pediatrician, Cardiology

Practicing since :2006

Answered : 1926 Questions

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Posted on Mon, 26 Nov 2018 in Child Health
Question: Dear Doctor,
Im writing this with worry about my 9 months old baby getiing transmitted with Hepatitis B & Hepatitis C if a fresh blood which was ingested in the babies mouth by putting cut finger in the babies mouth which is bleeding.

Below is the incident in details which i worry for

One day when i was returning from office i saw the lady who is living in my apartment considered to be risky for having STD was feeding something through her index finger for my baby in my babies mouth. After that incident i asked my wife what the lady is feeding the baby and my wife said she was feeding a small piece of sweet into the babies mouth.
My worry is if the lady has fresh bleeding cut while feeding my baby and if few drops has gone into my babies mouth will Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C or any other STD may transmit?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Pradeep Kumar 50 minutes later
Brief Answer:
No chance of transmission of hepatitis B or C

Detailed Answer:

Hello,

I won't get worried as transmission of Hepatitis B, C infection is mainly through blood to blood. It can also be transmitted by sexual contact, during birth of the baby from infected mother but transmission of infection after ingestion of infected blood is not known. STD is Sexually Transmitted Disease and spreads by sex usually.

First of all, it is not proven that the lady who has fed your baby is suffering from any STD; you also do not know whether there is any injury on her finger. Even if there is any cut, the chances of transmission of any infection by feeding is negligible.

I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have any more questions.

Regards,
Dr. Pradeep Kumar
Pediatrician, Cardiology
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Kampana
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Pradeep Kumar 6 hours later
Dear Doctor,

Thanks for your valuable information and your excellent service by helping anxiety persons like me.

I read in the internet that Gastro Intestinal Tracts for infants are not like adults, this is the reason why babies born to HIV infected mothers get HIV infection if the babies are feeded HIV infected breast milk. In the same way if one or two drops of blood goes into the mouth will it not infect when it travels to stomach through Gastrointestinal pipe?

Is my 9 months babies Gastro intestinal pipe is strong enough to pass the ingested blood without infecting?

She was vaccinated of Hepatitis B but even then in the internet it says there are mutaed Hepatitis B infection which will lead to infection even though the person is vaccinated.

Sorry sir all these are anxiety driven questions because of reading internet without consulting doctors.

Once again thank you for your great service.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Pradeep Kumar 3 hours later
Brief Answer:
Chances of getting infection is very less

Detailed Answer:

Hi,

The chances of getting infection of hepatitis B or hepatitis C by ingestion of infected blood is very less. In an HIV infected mother, the load of virus in breast milk is very high and babies predominantly fed on breast milk can get this infection in 25-30% cases. A single breast feeding episode causing HIV infection has not been documented. The chances are much less with hepatitis B and C.

I don't think there is much to worry. Still, to alleviate your anxiety, it is better you get her (that lady) evaluated for infection by serology test.

Hope I have answered your query. Let me know if I can assist you further.

Regards,
Dr. Pradeep Kumar
Pediatrician, Cardiology
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Raju A.T
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Pradeep Kumar 10 hours later
Dear Doctor thanks for your reply and i understood that in a single episode of ingestion of infected fluid one or two drops will not lead to HIV, Hepatitis B & Hepatitis C infection. I read that even breast feeding babies get HIV bcoz Gastro Intestinal tracts allows to directly mixes with blood stream upto 6 months of birth. After 6 months of birth the Gastro Intestinal Tract matures and will not allow the pathogens to mix up with blood stream when it passes through GI tract before reaching stomach. Is it true? if it is true i need not worry because my baby is almost 10 months old and her developed Gastro Intestinal tract will not allow the pathogens to mix with blood stream and stomach acid kills pathogens. Once again thank for your great service.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Pradeep Kumar 13 hours later
Brief Answer:
I agree with you; still, it would be better if she got tested.

Detailed Answer:

Hi,

I agree with you that with increased intestinal maturity the chances of transmission of infection get decreased. There are many research studies mentioning the same and that gives you a reason not to worry. The medical science is can not be individualised as every body has different metabolism and the best way will be to get that lady evaluated for infection.

Hope I have answered your query. Let me know if I can assist you further.

Regards,
Dr. Pradeep Kumar
Pediatrician, Cardiology
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Prasad
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Pradeep Kumar 13 hours later
Dear Doctor,

Thanks for your reply

I cannot test the lady because she is not my wife or my relative. She is just a neighbour and after that incident i changed my house too.

Since i cannot test the lady, i came here to ask a medical expert.

My kid has been vaccinated for Hepatitis B all 3 shots.

1)What is the maximum time after birth for GI tract to get mature? Before coming to you i read in the internet it varies between 4 to 6 months but 6 months is maximum. Is it true?

If it is true i need not worry about it because my baby is 10 months old when that incident happened.


Tell me your final suggestion to relieve my anxiety i got after this incident. I have to erase this in my mind and i have to move on to my life. Please help me.





doctor
Answered by Dr. Pradeep Kumar 9 hours later
Brief Answer:
Enough reasons to not get worried

Detailed Answer:

Hi,

There are enough reasons for you to not get worried.

First is that it is not confirmed that the lady has infection. The baby's intestinal barrier is matured enough to prevent transmission of infection through the gut.

The baby is fully immunised and in most of the cases immunity develops well after 1-2 months of the final dose. Even if there is any exposure, that too is once and in one single exposure, the chances are negligible.

I hope these reasons are sufficient enough for alleviating your anxiety.

Hope I have answered your query.

Regards,
Dr. Pradeep Kumar
Pediatrician, Cardiology
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Prasad
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