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Bathroom exposure to blood

  • By Anonymous

    Hi, I’m really hoping to meet someone here to talk to. I do not have hep C and I do not wish to frustrate anyone here that is infected. I’m reaching out for expert information because I have a terrible blood phobia. If you’re a person that is frustrated by “what if’s” read no further. If you’re someone that can help me calm my fears, please help.

    I’m triggered by the site of blood and always afraid I’m going to be infected by a blood borne virus. This has lead to OCD behaviors. The OCD behaviors, like washing my hands too much, lead to cracks in my skin, and then I’m afraid some microscopic trace of blood will get into those cracks.

    Today I was triggered by this fear of being exposed to blood because I had a guest that used the bathroom in my home. She was bleeding when she used my toilet and then flushed the toilet with the lid open. I’m under the impression that when you flush a toilet with the lid open that particles in the toilet can aersolize and land on other surfaces in the bathroom, like toothbrushes.

    So, there it is. I’m worried that some microscopic amount of blood may have aerosolized from the toilet and landed on a toothbrush that I later used. I have a missing molar and fear that this space may provide access to my bloodstream.

    I know this sounds very irrational….but that’s what phobias are…irrational. I’m in therapy every week, trying to figure out why I worry about these things that no one else I know worries about. I’ve tried medications to calm myself from phobias, but nothing really stops my fearful thoughts.

    I realize this is a forum for people with Hep C, not phobias. It’s not my intention to offend anyone by saying I’m terrified of an illness that you have. If I have offended you, I hope that you will understand that I am just looking for someone to talk to that can help me rationalize.

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  • By Rick Nash Moderator

    Hep C (HCV) when it comes to surfaces can be dealt with easily: Bleach, The CDC recommends a solution of one part bleach ten parts water.

    Bleach kills it 100%, There are studies which indicate HCV can last on a surface for as long as six weeks (the CDC officially says three weeks), however its important to remember a few key things:

    You’d need to come in direct contact with enough blood and have an open wound yourself to be infected in this way. Exposure to HCV via surfaces is really uncommon. In my 20 years of knowing about my infection and being vocal about it, I’ve never once come across someone who claimed to be exposed to the virus in this way.

    I hope this helps, and I hope that you find ways to maintain control with your phobia.

    -Rick Nash (Dragon-Slaying Six Time Treatment Vet)

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