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Infectious Diseases

Hepatitis c

03/20/2003

Question:

Hello. My friend has hepatitis c. She was cutting my hair for me and she accidentaly cut my ear lobe and it bled. She took a tissue and wiped the blood. Can I catch the hepatitis c from that? Also, this happened about 8 months ago. Would I feel sick by now? Thank you.

Answer:

According to your note, all the blood should have been yours since you were the one that was cut. Unless there was some really unusual circumstance, her hepatitis C should not be a problem for you from that episode. The fact that she wiped the blood also should not matter since it was still your blood. The only issue would be if her hand was bleeding or had a lot of broken skin, etc. that could have been shed into your cut. This seems not very likely. No, you may not feel sick. The incubation period can be up to 20 years before you notice anything specific. If you are really worried, after 8 moths your hepatitis C blood test should be positive now if it were going to be related to that incident. Any doctor can get the test for you if you are significantly concerned. 

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Response by:

Gary   Roselle, MD Gary Roselle, MD
Professor of Clinical Medicine
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati