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Author Topic: Possible transmission through eyes?  (Read 6244 times)

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Offline Wildthing68

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  • Posts: 5
Possible transmission through eyes?
« on: August 08, 2017, 12:05:43 pm »
Hello, this is my first post on this forum so let me begin by saying that I am an incredibly paranoid and anxious person. With the being said I have a few questions.

The other day I was at the store and noticed someone near me in the isle cut their finger on one of the plastic packages, so I walked to the back with them to get a bandaid. They tried to open it with the un-injured hand (I think) but couldn't so they handed it to me and I opened it and handed it back to them, I didn't notice any blood on it or my fingers but again I'm not sure. So would there be a chance of transmission if when I grabbed the bandaid and somehow got some blood on my fingers and then subconsciously wiped my eyes? And if I did so and got blood in my eyes, would I have known it?

Offline gnatcatcher

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  • Posts: 1,372
Re: Possible transmission through eyes?
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2017, 08:27:51 pm »
Hi, Wildthing68. It's theoretically possible, but your chances are infinitesimally small, and if the person with the cut does happen to have hep C and blood-to-blood contact did occur, the amount transferred would have been so small that you would have a high chance of self-curing (that is, your immune system would get rid of the virus).
9/29/71 transfusions
HCV genotype 1a
7/09/15-9/30/15 Harvoni

Before treatment:
Viral Load 9,490,582
FibroScan 19.5 kPa [F4]
ALT 262
AST 217
ALP 183

Most recent:
VL still UNDETECTED (SVR 102)
FibroScan 7.6 kPa [F1-2]
ALT 15
AST 20
ALP 85

Offline Wildthing68

  • Member
  • Posts: 5
Re: Possible transmission through eyes?
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2017, 08:38:13 pm »
Okay, thank you for the reply. I just have a couple follow-up questions if that's okay.

1. It would have to be a noticeable amount of blood, correct?
2. If I did get something in my eyes, I would have noticed it, right? Like blinking and eyes watering.

And finally, do you think testing would need to be done for a situation like this?

Offline gnatcatcher

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,372
Re: Possible transmission through eyes?
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2017, 09:23:21 pm »
Unless you have a very poor immune system, it would have to be a noticeable amount of blood, so you would have noticed it. To put your incident in perspective, I didn't get piercings or do drugs, but I did get transfusions during a 1971 surgery (which was before doctors knew what hep C was or how to keep it out of the blood supply). I wasn't tested for hep C until decades later, yet my spouse didn't get hep C despite the fact that I occasionally used the wrong toothbrush while I had bleeding gums, and we shared a nail clipper that had my blood on it (I often nicked myself).

Since you say you are an incredibly paranoid and anxious person, you could take the HCV (hep C) antibody blood test 6 months after the exposure. If that comes back negative, you'd be certain you are free of HCV. If it comes back positive, that would mean that you were exposed sometime in your life, so your immune system made antibodies to HCV. You'd then take a second test to see if you still had any virus in you, because somewhere around 25% of people who do get exposed to HCV manage to get cured just by their own immune system getting rid of the virus. (Those who cure themselves will still test positive on the antibody test.)

The reason for waiting 6 months is to get a definitive answer. HCV does its damage slowly, so you can safely wait 6 months to take the antibody test, if you even want to bother taking it.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2017, 03:02:47 am by gnatcatcher »
9/29/71 transfusions
HCV genotype 1a
7/09/15-9/30/15 Harvoni

Before treatment:
Viral Load 9,490,582
FibroScan 19.5 kPa [F4]
ALT 262
AST 217
ALP 183

Most recent:
VL still UNDETECTED (SVR 102)
FibroScan 7.6 kPa [F1-2]
ALT 15
AST 20
ALP 85

Offline Wildthing68

  • Member
  • Posts: 5
Re: Possible transmission through eyes?
« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2017, 09:28:58 pm »
Oh wow. Thank you, that's some really great information. I talked to the person a few minutes later and they said that there wasn't any blood on the bandaid when they handed it to me, but with me being me I just don't seem able to accept it. I looked at my hands when I went to the restroom for germ-x and I didn't see anything, that was about 5 minutes after the fact. So just to be sure, the only reason to test here would be for peace of mind?

Offline gnatcatcher

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,372
Re: Possible transmission through eyes?
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2017, 10:08:14 pm »
Yes, for peace of mind.
9/29/71 transfusions
HCV genotype 1a
7/09/15-9/30/15 Harvoni

Before treatment:
Viral Load 9,490,582
FibroScan 19.5 kPa [F4]
ALT 262
AST 217
ALP 183

Most recent:
VL still UNDETECTED (SVR 102)
FibroScan 7.6 kPa [F1-2]
ALT 15
AST 20
ALP 85

Offline Lynn K

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 4,518
  • Get tested, get treated, get cured, fight Hep c!
Re: Possible transmission through eyes?
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2017, 12:05:34 am »
For transmission to occur hep c infected blood must enter the blood stream of an uninfected person.

Hep c is not easily transmitted and only a small percent of the population has hep c.

With today's new medicines hep c is nearly entirely curable for most people.

So you are worrying yourself over a difficult to transmit illness that very few people have that the odds of transmitting in the manner you have described is next to impossible. 

If you feel the need to test for sake of peace of mind of course you may do so but really your odds of transmission are basically zero.

If peace of mind is what you seek I suggest you seek counseling for your anxiety. This is the best way for you to truely achieve peace of mind instead of unnecessary worry about what ever happens tomorrow or the next day to raise your anxiety levels.

Treat the medical condition you apparently do have anxiety over contracting illness that are difficult to contract and very curable like hep c is.

In general most people don't need to be concerned about contracting hep c except through blood transfusion which is highly unlikely today or sharing IV drug equipment or possibly by having a tattoo done in an unlicensed tattoo parlor.

Please speak to your medical professional about getting treatment for anxiety

Good luck
Genotype 1a
1978 contracted, 1990 Dx
1995 Intron A failed
2001 Interferon Riba null response
2003 Pegintron Riba trial med null response
2008 F4 Cirrhosis Bx
2014 12 week Sov/Oly relapse
10/14 fibroscan 27 PLT 96
2014 24 weeks Harvoni 15 weeks Riba
5/4/15 EOT not detected, ALT 21, AST 20
4 week post not detected, ALT 26, AST 28
12 week post NOT DETECTED (07/27/15)
ALT 29, AST 27 PLT 92
24 week post NOT DETECTED! (10/19/15)
44 weeks (3/11/16)  fibroscan 33, PLT 111, HCV NOT DETECTED!
I AM FREE!

Offline Mugwump

  • Member
  • Posts: 775
  • My number of posts means nothing, piscor ergo sum!
Re: Possible transmission through eyes?
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2017, 03:40:08 pm »
Wildthing68;
Think of it from this perspective. If transmission from an exposure that you describe was worth worrying about then the human race would have died off long ago from HCV. There are documented cases of transmission where emergency personnel have had infected blood spurt into the eyes. So yes it can happen under extreme circumstances.

But here is the rub, the chances that the individual that cut themselves is HCV active is also very slight, around 1% in the US. Essentially your chances of being killed by lightning are greater than the chances of this incident infecting you with HCV.
Caution shameless self promotion below :-)
https://www.hepmag.com/article/eric-reesor-27742-782589663
DING DONG MY DRAGON (HCV) IS FINALLY DEAD!

Offline Wildthing68

  • Member
  • Posts: 5
Re: Possible transmission through eyes?
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2017, 06:31:59 pm »
Thank you all for this information. So is it fair to say that if I walked up on something like a trash can, or any object like that, then my risk is 0? Will I have to be injecting drugs to get hep C? Or having sex with someone who has it, etc?

Offline Lynn K

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 4,518
  • Get tested, get treated, get cured, fight Hep c!
Re: Possible transmission through eyes?
« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2017, 07:36:37 pm »
Hep c infected blood must enter your blood stream. Walking on bloody broken glass in bare feet would be a risk if the blood on the glass was infected. But I assume you would not do that. Walking on a garbage can is not a risk. Stepping in a bandaid is not a risk. Hep c must enter your blood stream through an open wet weeping wound.

The greatest risk is sharing IV drug equipment although there have been cases where medical workers have stolen drugs meant for patients and cross contaminated the container so there have been a few infected in that way. Or other situations of contaminated medical equipment. Even for health care workers who experience an accidental needle stick involving a patient with known hep c the odds are only about 1.8%.

Hep c is not considered to be an STD in general. The CDC does not recommend those who have hep c and are in a long term monogamous relationship to use barrier protection i.e. condoms. The risk of sexual transmission increases for those with multiple sex partners, or engage in rough sexual practices, or in the presence of HIV.

My suggestion is to seek help for your anxiety that is what you do have than needs treatment. Most people do not spend their time thinking about contracting rare illnesses by impossible means.

Please see:

Hepatitis C FAQs for the Public from the CDC.

https://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/hcv/cfaq.htm
Genotype 1a
1978 contracted, 1990 Dx
1995 Intron A failed
2001 Interferon Riba null response
2003 Pegintron Riba trial med null response
2008 F4 Cirrhosis Bx
2014 12 week Sov/Oly relapse
10/14 fibroscan 27 PLT 96
2014 24 weeks Harvoni 15 weeks Riba
5/4/15 EOT not detected, ALT 21, AST 20
4 week post not detected, ALT 26, AST 28
12 week post NOT DETECTED (07/27/15)
ALT 29, AST 27 PLT 92
24 week post NOT DETECTED! (10/19/15)
44 weeks (3/11/16)  fibroscan 33, PLT 111, HCV NOT DETECTED!
I AM FREE!

Offline gnatcatcher

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,372
Re: Possible transmission through eyes?
« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2017, 02:24:42 am »
Wildthing68, among the phobias is one called nosophobia: an uncontrollable fear of a specific disease. Just in case you are afflicted by nosophobia, here's some information including how it is treated: https://www.allaboutcounseling.com/library/nosophobia/
9/29/71 transfusions
HCV genotype 1a
7/09/15-9/30/15 Harvoni

Before treatment:
Viral Load 9,490,582
FibroScan 19.5 kPa [F4]
ALT 262
AST 217
ALP 183

Most recent:
VL still UNDETECTED (SVR 102)
FibroScan 7.6 kPa [F1-2]
ALT 15
AST 20
ALP 85

 


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