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Q. Can hepatitis C be transferred if the blood is in a dried state?

Answered by
Dr. Sagar Ramesh Makode
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Aug 17, 2018

Hello doctor,

Can hepatitis C be transferred if the blood is in a dried state? For example, it dried on a surface and you touch it with another dry object or with dry hands. I understand if you wet the dry blood to clean it up it can transfer but I am talking in a strictly dry state. I was told it is not transferable once dried if it is touched or brushed against by other objects. I am wondering because if you touch it when it is wet with hands or another object and transfer the undried blood to other areas of the home without knowing it. I would be concerned about touching the blood after it has dried without knowing it is there.

#

Hello,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

No, once it has dried, virus is not transmitted and cannot spread the disease when it comes in contact with intact skin. Also, with drying, virus gets inactivated. Even in wet state, just contact of blood with intact skin (not mucosa), unlikely to transmit the virus as skin act as a barrier for transmission.

For more information consult a general medicine physician online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/general-medicine-physician

Thank you doctor,

Does rewetting the dried blood extend the life of the virus or will it still die within three weeks? I may have touched some dried blood with wet hair and then laid on my pillow. I just want to confirm that this will not extend the life of the virus outside the body. I know it can live in dried blood for up to three weeks so I want to make sure it will not still be there.

#

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

Yes, theoretically virus life should be prolonged, although we do not have any definitive studies to demonstrate this practically. Additionally, wetting will reduce the temperature of the dried blood and can prolong their lives. But, in your case, we do not know how effectively the blood was mixed with water in order to effectively prolong their lives. Also, infectivity of dried blood is usually less and intact skin is unlikely to transmit it. However, you may get yourself tested in order to clear the doubt and negative test will confirm the things. Overall, the possibility of transmission is very less in your setting. Practically in additional to literature, in our hospitals, many a time even a wet blood comes in contact with intact skin with many workers and colleagues, but it has not resulted in a transmission.

For more information consult a general medicine physician online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/general-medicine-physician

Thank you doctor,

Three weeks for the blood being left in my house and my wet hair just touched it.

#

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

I do not think you need to worry about it, but if the blood was present in the house then it is better to get tested once, especially, if you are not sure regarding the other modes of transmission. But, regarding this discussion, the probability is very low.

For more information consult a general medicine physician online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/general-medicine-physician

Thank you doctor,

How long should I wait before getting tested, given the blood was in the house and the possible rewetting of it today?

#

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

At four weeks, you should get HCV RNA levels done. After four weeks, along with SGOT and SGPT. Although this is enough in most of the individuals, rare cases may be missed, so the test is repeated at four months, where we do HCV RNA and anti-HCV antibodies, SGOT and SGPT.

For more information consult a general medicine physician online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/general-medicine-physician


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