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Dr. Chip
Dr. Chip, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 32187
Experience:  Over 20 yrs of Family Practice
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I'm a medical student and I shook hands with a patient who

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Hello there
I'm a medical student and I shook hands with a patient who has known Hep C infection. My hand just touched the patient's fingers mostly and it wasn't a proper handshake (the type which politicians do). I later used alcohol gel on my hands on leaving the room. Few minutes later I noticed tiny amounts of blood on the skin of my right thumb. You know the type when the skin peels of just over the finger nails due to dryness. It sometimes bleeds if by accident the skin peels off a little more. I didn't see any blood whatsoever on the patient's hands. But I'm worried about my thumb which had tiny blood due to the dry skin just above the nail bed. Should I worry at all ? Please HELP
Hi. Really absolutely nothing to worry about here. Hep C wouldn't be transmitted that way under any circumstance. There really is no way to get the virus just from a handshake, whether your hand had open skin or not. You don't need to be screened for hepatitis.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hello Doc. Many thanks for the answer. I feel better. I have one more question though. Its about hepatitis C testing (not related to the above incident). I've read that Hepc RNA qualitative test can detect viral RNA 2-3 weeks post exposure. Say this is negative. Would the serology still be negative at 3-6 months. In other words, is the HepC RNA test conclusive?

Actually 2-3 weeks post exposure detection would only be significant if the viral RNA were detected at that point, but if it were negative, I'd still screen in another two months after that. If negative then, then no infection
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

thanks Dr Chip. Sorry for repeatedly asking you questions here. With regards ***** ***** for Hep C infection, is it recommended if someone has received fellatio from a female of unknown status?

Well, that's a different scenario. Although very unlikely, hep C could be transmitted with unprotected fellatio. So if there were any concern at all, then one should be screened
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