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Feeling sick, blood-borne disease

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Internal Medicine Specialist
Practicing since : 1998
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Blood borne illness
Last week I cut myself. I grabbed the (damp) kitchen cloth to mop up the blood and tossed it in the sink as I rushed to the doctor to have the cut treated. When I returned my husband had used the cloth to wipe down the counters and dinner table (yuck!) and fed the kids. This week my kids are sick (flu) - please tell me this couldn't have caused them to become ill? As far as I know I'm healthy (i.e. don't have any diseases like HIV or Hepatitis). Just wondering if there is anything else I could have transmitted to them this way? thanks.
Posted Thu, 26 Apr 2012 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Jasvinder Singh 28 minutes later

Thanks for posting your query.

I can understand your concern for your kids because of the symptoms that they are having.

These symptoms can be due to a viral infection which has coincidentally shown up when you had tossed the cloth in the sink. Rest assured about transmission of any HIV or hepatitis to your kids as both of these are viral infections and viruses need a host or human body to grow. Outside the body, they are not active and die very quickly when exposed to air.

Moreover for transmission of HIV and hepatitis B viruses, the modes of transmission are unprotected sexual intercourse with infected person, using needles or syringes which have been used by an infected person, blood transfusion of infected person or from mother to fetus. Basically it is blood to blood transmission and virus gets transmitted only when the other person has some cuts or bleeding sores on his hands which come in contact with fresh secretions from an infected individual.

Since you are healthy and do not have any HIV or hepatitis, your kids cannot get infected just by touching the soiled cloth. Relax and ensure that you give plenty of fluids to your kids for the viral sickness. They may be given acetaminophen if they have fever.

Hope this answers your query. If you have additional questions or follow up queries then please do not hesitate in writing to us. I will be happy to answer your queries.

Please accept my answer in case you have no follow up query.

Wishing you good health.
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