Hepatitis Forums

Hepatitis C Prevention, Transmission and Testing => Am I Infected? => Topic started by: WorryWart on December 13, 2019, 10:30:22 am

Title: Hep b or c risk?
Post by: WorryWart on December 13, 2019, 10:30:22 am

Approx. a week ago, I was at a hospital and used the toilet and washed my hands.  I put the hand towel in the bin and accidentally touched the inside of bin lid (a couple of times).  I washed my hands and put sanitiser on but then noticed that I had a small bleeding cut.  Not sure if this is from washing etc. or if I've some how cut my hand on the bin lid. 

The bin was in the Orange stream which means it's for blood and bodily fluid as well as hand towels, there was also no sanitary bin in the toilet. I checked the bin lid and couldn't see any sign of blood but it was an old bin.  I'm worried that I did cut myself on the bin and there was blood or bodily fluid on it that wasn't visible to the naked eye. Is that a risk to Hep b or c? 

Am I worrying justly or is my anxiety getting the better of me? 

Thank you.
Title: Re: Hep b or c risk?
Post by: Lynn K on December 13, 2019, 08:36:50 pm
There have been no known transmissions in the manner you have described



This was a trash can in a rest room probably orange paint the trash cans dedicated to hazardous waste should be in the lab areas.

Is that a risk to Hep b or c? 
Highly doubtful.

Am I worrying justly?

Is my anxiety getting the better of me?
Very likely.

If you continue to have concerns I suggest speaking with your personal physician about your relative risk or better still your mental health professional.

Have you had a tetanus shot in the last ten years?

I would be more concerned about that.

Title: Re: Hep b or c risk?
Post by: opyonin on December 19, 2019, 03:37:16 am
Well that was really scary! But I think sanitizer and the soaps would've saved you if anything
Title: Re: Hep b or c risk?
Post by: WorryWart on January 18, 2020, 02:50:48 pm
Thank you for your replies. It was definitely a clinical waste bin, it had a notice on the lid.  I am going to get a test anyway just to put my mind at ease.

In the meantime, I have children and worried if I have contracted Hep B or C, how do I protect my family?  For example, is it safe to share laundry if there is blood on clothing?    I had a pair of trousers that had a small amount of blood on them from a cut and I washed them with other clothes on a low temp wash with detergent and anti bacterial wash.  Should they have been washed separately? How easy is it to pass it on to my family?

Thank you again for your time :)
Title: Re: Hep b or c risk?
Post by: Lynn K on January 18, 2020, 03:56:30 pm
Those are not ways to transmit hep c in a household. The recommendation from the CDC is to avoid sharing things like razors, fingernail clippers, and toothbrushes as those could have blood on them which could enter the blood stream of an uninfected person. Household transmission in a household setting is extremely rare to non existent per the CDC. Hepatitis c is difficult to transmit in general as it required hepatitis c infected blood to enter the blood stream of an uninfected person.

I assume under normal circumstances you would not have blood soaked clothing unless you were in a major car crash or experienced a serious industrial accident where you would likely be in the hospital. Or if you had committed a serious bloody assault on another person and then you would likely be incarcerated. But in any event if you were to wash bloody clothing in the washer with the clothes of others the hep c virus would not survive normal washing procedures and I cannot begin to imagine how even if they were to don you wet blood soaked clothing how that blood would enter anyone’s blood stream unless there were knives and razors in your pockets.

Again, I doubt if you were at any risk from what you described and even if you should some how by very high odds against it have contracted hep c unless you practice sharing of personal hygiene items that could have blood on them as described above your family is not at risk.

If concerned about risk of infection get tested at a minimum of 12 weeks post exposure and for additional assurance at 6 months. But as often as you post here with exceedingly low risk scenarios you may as well assume you plan on being tested quarterly. I don’t know why you seem to have such a fixation with contracting a curable illness with low risk of transmission. I expect you may be able to find that answer with anxiety counseling.


Best of luck to you   
Title: Re: Hep b or c risk?
Post by: Lynn K on January 18, 2020, 04:12:47 pm
Per the CDC only about 1% of the US population has hep c so you would be somewhat hard pressed to even randomly encounter someone with hepatitis c infection. Then add to that the odds they were randomly bleeding and left their blood behind on a sharp object that you randomly encountered and cut yourself in deeply enough to reach your blood stream. And even if all those small risks some how combined even if a health care worker should accidentally experience a needle stick involving someone with hep c the odds of transmission are only about 1.8% so we’re talking about a billion to one of random happenstance you’re randomly walking around and all the small risks aligning for this to happen.

If you want to get hep c, get a tattoo an an unlicensed tattoo shop, share IV drug needles, become blood brothers with someone who you know has hep c, get a blood transfusion prior to 1989, or be borne to a mother who has hep c. Other than that unless your a health care worker who gets stuck with a needle or deeply cut while exposed to the blood of a patient with hep c it’s doubtful you would ever become infected in your lifetime.

The only reference I found to “Orange stream” trash related to recycling. I wouldn’t expect a doctors office to have a hazardous medical waste container in the patient restroom as a general purpose trash bin I know mine certainly doesn’t. The do have sharps containers on the wall for people to use and sharps containers when properly used prevent the next user from encountering a sharp as they drop safety inside and have a guard to prevent reaching inside.

Title: Re: Hep b or c risk?
Post by: WorryWart on January 18, 2020, 05:15:10 pm
Thank you for your comments, would that be same for Hep B? 
Title: Re: Hep b or c risk?
Post by: Lynn K on January 18, 2020, 05:55:40 pm
From the CDC web site looks like pretty similar to hep c as far as exposure risks although there is a greater risk of sexual transmission especially for MSM.

However, I am not a medical professional and do not work in the medical field. For an informed discussion of relative risks and testing required your first choice should always be your personal physician. I do in my lay persons opinion believe your greater medical need is to talk to someone and possibly be treated for anxiety about your fears of the remote possibility of contracting illness.

“Hepatitis B Transmission / Exposure
How is hepatitis B spread?
The hepatitis B virus is spread when blood, semen, or other body fluid infected with the hepatitis B virus enters the body of a person who is not infected. People can become infected with the virus from:

Birth (spread from an infected mother to her baby during birth)
Sex with an infected partner
Sharing needles, syringes, or drug preparation equipment
Sharing items such as toothbrushes, razors or medical equipment such as a glucose monitor with an infected person
Direct contact with the blood or open sores of an infected person
Exposure to blood from needlesticks or other sharp instruments of an infected person
Hepatitis B virus is not spread through food or water, sharing eating utensils, breastfeeding, hugging, kissing, hand holding, coughing, or sneezing.”


Title: Re: Hep b or c risk?
Post by: Lynn K on January 18, 2020, 06:10:34 pm
Also found this CDC pamphlet about hepatitis B with a two second search of google.

You will note there is no mention of washing clothes as being a risk


“How is it spread?
Hepatitis B is usually spread when blood, semen, or other body fluids from a person with the Hepatitis B virus enter the body of someone who is not infected. The virus is very infectious and is transmitted easily through breaks in the skin or mucus membranes (nose, mouth, eyes and other soft tissues). This can happen through:
■ Sexual contact with an infected person
■ Direct contact with infected or contaminated blood, even in tiny
amounts too small to see
■ Sharing personal items, such as toothbrushes, razors, syringes, or glucose monitors that have even microscopic amounts of blood on them
■ Direct contact with open sores of an infected person
■ An infected mother passing it to her baby at birth
Hepatitis B is not spread through sneezing, coughing, hugging, or breastfeeding. Although the virus can be found in saliva, it is not believed to be spread through kissing or sharing utensils.”
Title: Re: Hep b or c risk?
Post by: Lynn K on January 18, 2020, 06:15:52 pm
More information from google.

Also, note even fewer people in the US have hepatitis B then have hepatitis C. Only about 0.4% of the us population has hepatitis B making it even less likely you would randomly encounter someone with hepatitis B. About 4 people in 1000 have hep B.

Please consider getting anxiety counseling

Title: Re: Hep b or c risk?
Post by: WorryWart on January 20, 2020, 01:50:46 pm
Thanks Lynn, I'll take a look. 

I'm in the UK and orange stream bins are clinical waste bins here but I too don't see why they would have put one in the restrooms, but they have :) Maybe because people do urine samples in there, there was also no sanitary bin.

Anyway, thanks again for your time, appreciate it.
Title: Re: Hep b or c risk?
Post by: Lynn K on January 20, 2020, 06:04:34 pm
best of luck