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Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 11946
Experience:  U.S. Physician/Surgeon in Neurosurgery
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about casual contact and heptatis c from 2008: In situations

Resolved Question:

Hi Dr. Mark -

I hate to be picky but I just want to be sure I'm understanding correctly. Here is a previous question you answered about casual contact and heptatis c from 2008:

In situations outside of work, would the same apply. I touch surfaces with no visible blood, but don't always keep a band aid on if I am not bleeding. If I am bleeding, I always wear a bandage no matter where I am. I find most of my finger injuries are small like cat scratches and heal or scab or stop bleeding very fast, within minutes sometimes. So if I were to touch a surface like a door knob or shopping cart, and I am not bleeding myself, would my risk be near zero.
Posted by Dr. Mark 645 days and 8 hours ago.
Yes, the same would apply. If your skin is intact (e.g. no wounds that are bleeding, and any cuts have "scabs" on them), your chances of getting this virus is very very low.

Again, the same applies with door knobs and shopping carts - the risk is nearly zero (if the risk were high, you would see everyone wearing gloves all the time!)

You mention "If your skin is intact (e.g. no wounds that are bleeding, and any cuts have "scabs" on them)" - what if your cut doesn't have a scab on it that you can see? And it has been less than 24 hours, but your cut is not bleeding - is the chance still the same?

Again sorry to be picky and I appreciate your response!
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 7 years ago.

Hello, sorry for the delay. That's a really old question!


Anyways -- the issue here is that the skin is your body's natural protective barrier.


If it is cut, it usually takes about 24 hours for that first protective layer to form on the top layer of the skin.


So, before that time, theoretically -- you could still have an entry way into the skin for bacteria and viruses. While still very unlikely, that risk would not be zero.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
does the fact that you cant see any blood on a surface make a difference?
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 7 years ago.
That also makes your risk nearly zero -- since this condition is transmitted via blood to blood transfer -- if you don't have contaminated blood in the first place, your risk is minimal.
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