Hepatitis c cannot be transmitted in the manner you have described
“ Transmission / Exposure
How is hepatitis C spread?
The hepatitis C virus is usually spread when someone comes into contact with blood from an infected person. This can happen through:
►Sharing drug-injection equipment.
Today, most people become infected with hepatitis C by sharing needles, syringes, or any other equipment used to prepare and inject drugs.
Approximately 6% of infants born to infected mothers will get hepatitis C.
►Health care exposures.
Although uncommon, people can become infected when health-care professionals do not follow the proper steps needed to prevent the spread of bloodborne infections.
►Sex with an infected person.
While uncommon, hepatitis C can spread during sex, though it has been reported more often among men who have sex with men.
►Unregulated tattoos or body piercings.
Hepatitis C can spread when getting tattoos or body piercings in unlicensed facilities, informal settings, or with
►Sharing personal items.
People can get infected from sharing glucose monitors, razors, nail clippers, toothbrushes, and other items that may have come into contact with infected blood, even in amounts too small to see.
►Blood transfusions and organ transplants.
Before widespread screening of the blood supply in 1992, hepatitis C was also spread through blood transfusions and organ transplants. Now, the risk of transmission to recipients of blood or blood products is extremely low.
Hepatitis C is not spread by sharing eating utensils, breastfeeding, hugging, kissing, holding hands, coughing, or sneezing. It is also not spread through food or water.”
Is your cousin planning on treating his hep C? There are now treatments available beginning in 2014 that are much more effective and much better tolerated than the previous treatments that were available in the past. The new medicines are boasting cure rates greater than 98% for previously untreated persons. His treatment could be as simple as one pill a day for 8 or 12 weeks and he could be cured of his hep c.
If he has been successfully treated there is not further risk of transmission as he would no longer have any hep c virus to transmit.
Also hep c is a blood borne virus. Hepatitis c infected blood must enter the blood stream of an uninfected person. The most common method of transmission is sharing IV drug needles or receiving a blood transfusion before 1990 when hepatitis c antibody testing was developed and the blood supply secured.