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Avatar universal

Fishing hook of a hep C patient, pricked me! Am I infected?

My girlfriend has hep C since 5 years ago. She cares about her disease and so far none of her families are infected . But recently we have met and I´m still paranoid.
For example, if a sharp tool (like knife) pricks her (e.g. during cooking), and no blood comes out, she considers it as safe and doesnt use antiseptic. Even though, theoretically this action is very dangerous, but as I said, none of her family have been infected so far.

We went to fishing together. She put a worm on the fishing hook,  and I saw that hook pricked her (no blood came out out). Later, I got that rod, and tried to put worm on the same hook, and it pricked me as well (no blood came out). Apparently both pricks were shallow. She also, didnt care (I´m assuming she didnt take it seriously). Also, I assume this situation has happened before when she went to fishing with her other friends.

HOWEVER, I am very paranoid and have already assumed that now I am infected with Hep C virus. Am I right or is it just paranoia? REALITCALLY spoken (not theoretically), was there high chance for hep c transmission?

Also, please tell me in such situations, what is the best thing to do in order to reduce chance of infection? Definitely not cutting the finger!
Best Answer
444337 tn?1428073510
From the CDC:

What is the risk for HCV infection from a needlestick exposure to HCV-contaminated blood?

After a needlestick or sharps exposure to HCV-positive blood, the risk of HCV infection is approximately 1.8% (range: 0%–10%).

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Based on this statement, you can reasonably assume that a needlestick, as it pertains to a healthcare worker, would involve direct contact with a patient's blood.

If a fishing hook penetrates the skin and doesn't reach the bloodstream, then your chances of getting infected are nil.

5 Responses
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4896357 tn?1360670904
It is extremely unlikely that you were infected with the hep c virus but for peace of mind you can wait a few months and have your doctor order an inexpensive hep c anti-body test. Meanwhile don't worry too much!
Helpful - 1
683231 tn?1467323017
to transmit hep c it requires blood to blood contact if th efishing hook didnt draw blood in both instances the risk is nil.

As cited above if it was a accidential needle stick where the needle was in the blood stream of a hep c patient and the needle prick was deep enough to draw blood from the health care worker the odds are only 1.8% .

As your incident did not have this type of contact one would assume your chances are much lower than 1.8% than the health care worker needle stick senario.

But if it gives you peace of mind you could have an antibody test in about6 months.

It is doubtful you have contracted hep c in this situation but even if you were unlucky enough to be infected there ar enew recently approved medicines that are of short duration much better tolerated by patients and highly effective at curing hep c. Treatment could be as simple as 1 pill a day for 8 weeks and cured.

If your g/f doesnt know about the new treatments she could ask her doctor then she would not have to worry about infecting those closest to her ever again.

Also Hep c is almost never transmitted in a household. Even long term managamous couples one can have hep c while the other does not and in fact the CDC does not consider Hep c to be a STD. However for people who are not in a long term relationship th erecommendation is to use barrier protection just as you should because of all the STD's that are out there.

Hepatitis C FAQs for the Public

http://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/hcv/cfaq.htm

Best of luck to you
Lynn
Helpful - 1
Avatar universal
Also, a fish hook is a solid needle, I believe. Needles used to inject substances are more likely to transmit the virus. But as Virt says, even then there is a low risk to health care workers.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
thanks but may  I ask why is it unlikely? Sharing needles is a common way for Hep C transmission. What is difference between needle and fishing hook? both are sharp!
Helpful - 0
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