Protecting Your Family from Hep C Exposure
Having hepatitis C has lots of stress put on an individual. Not only are we worried about our life, we have to be concerned about our loved ones.
For myself, my kids were 10 and 4 when I was diagnosed with hep C. I feared immediately that I passed it along to them during birth. I had them both tested right away. It was a relief and blessing for me that neither of my children contracted this disease that not only I was fighting, but had witnessed their grandma pass from. After learning all I could about how I can protect from exposing them to my blood, I was able to ensure their safety and my peace of mind.
Cleaning up blood
Hep C can survive outside the body on surfaces up to 3 weeks. It can only do this, however, at room temperature. But think of all the potential times you accidentally cut yourself or had a nosebleed and a drop might have fallen on countertop or floor. Cleaning and disinfecting is so important to ensure the safety of others. To do so, you need to use a bleach product. I personally used strictly bleach to clean my home - sinks, countertops floors, toilets, tubs, showers. (Make sure you have proper ventilation, as the fumes are very harmful.) Mix with a little water if need to.
Not sharing personal items
Explain to family members the importance of not using your toothbrush, razor, or any other items that can be exposed to your blood. It is a good idea to change out your personal items frequently, and especially during treatment. You could potentially accidentally re-infect yourself by using those items over and over during treatment.
I did not invest all my time stressing over my blood when I had a cut, etc. I took the necessary precautions and that really is all you need to do. Keep in mind that hep C is a blood-to-blood contracted disease, which means your blood must come into contact with another to be infected. You don’t have to live secluded from your family, you only need to take precautions.
Does reading hep C patient stories aid you in your journey?