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Re: Teen with questions about dad's hep c

Re: Teen with questions about dad's hep c

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Posted by sean on August 10, 2000 at 18:31:43:

In Reply to: Teen with questions about dad's hep c posted by Ben on August 09, 2000 at 12:14:54:

: My dad is having a biopsy next week, and I am a bit concerned. He has had hep c for 22 years, and he just got some bloodwork back that the docter docter deemed concerning enough to send him to a specialist. Is the need for a biopsy cause for immediate concern? I guess I just have this vision of him become deathly ill. From what I've read this is not the way hep c works, but any words of wisdom or encouragement would be appreciated.
: The other question is about the spreading of this virus. I understand that it is not that common for it to spread among family members. I have read that one of the risk factors is sharing razors, what about electric shavers? maybe I am just being paranoid, but that has been concerning me. On a related note, how long does the virus remain "living" outside the body. Can the virus only infect someone for a few days or a few weeks or what?
: Thank you very much,
: Ben

First of all, ben, a biopsy is a necessary diagnostic tool, not a cause for concern. (either is referral to a specialist--this is just good sense). In fact, since most hep c persons get encouraging, or at least not alarming, info from their biopsies, it may prove the most reassuring thing that can happen.
I'm sure you know by now that most hep c "sufferers" do not suffer. I've had it for 35 years, and my biopsy indicates only mild dmage to the liver after allthis time. Each individual case is different, but don't worry until someone gives you a good reason to!
Next, yes, intra-familial spread is rare, altho not unheard of. Sharing razors or toothbrushes or anythhing that may collect blood is a bad idea for sure. electrics can sometimes draw blood--mine does occassionally. so, better safe than sorry. still, considering no one knew there was such a thing as hep c for so many years, and therefore took no precautions, and still the research finds few familiy members getting infected, I would say--in my distinctly Unqualified opinion--- that you should still not worry, even if you've not taken precautions in the past. just do so now.
If you're real worried, an antibody test can be done by your doc.
I don't know about the outside the body issue, but again, since almost every single case of documented transmission involves very intimate contact, almost always sharing of blood, it doesn't seem like the virus hangs about in the open air too much. Or if it did, it fails to infect anyone. My very unqualified opinion again, but in all the lieterature on the disease, I've never seen ambient infection listed as a risk--just blood-to-blood contact.

I don't mean to imply that hcv is not serious--it can be. It's just NOT cause for panic even in the infected person, nevermind family members.

Good luck to your pops, and to you.

sean



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