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Re: Hepatitis B
Sep 7, 2004
Hi. I disagree with the premise that HBV can be contracted from sharing plates or cups. According to my gastroenterologist the chances of HBV being transmitted in this manner via saliva is pretty impossible. Although the HBV virus is present in saliva, getting the virus through contact of this body fluid is extre extremely rare...see my FYI post from August. However, I would be more concerned that you may have contracted HBV through sexual contact. If you practiced safe sex then you're probably okay. Just the same, you should consider getting tested.

Here's a good QA that may help. It's an excerpt from one of many informational documents that I've received from my GI. These documents are written by medical experts in the field of liver disease and gastroenterology:

How is HBV spread?
HBV is found in blood and certain body fluids—such as serum, semen, vaginal secretions—of people infected with HBV. HBV is not found in sweat, tears, urine, or respiratory secretions. Contact with even small amounts of infected blood can cause infection.

Hepatitis B virus can be spread by:
unprotected sex
injecting drug use
an infected mother to her child during birth
contact with the blood or open sores of an infected person
human bites
sharing a household with a chronically infected person
sharing items such as razors, toothbrushes, or washcloths
pre-chewing food for babies or sharing chewing gum
using unsterilized needles in ear or body piercing, tattooing, or acupuncture
using the same immunization needle on more than one person

Hepatitis B virus IS NOT spread by:
casual contact like holding hands
eating food prepared by an infected person
kissing or hugging
[B]sharing silverware, plates, or cups [/B]
visiting an infected person's home
sneezing or coughing

What are the symptoms of hepatitis B?
Most people who get HBV infection as babies or children don't look or feel sick at all. Similarly, almost half of adults who get infected don't have any symptoms or signs of the disease. If people do have signs or symptoms, they may experience any or all of the following:
loss of appetite
yellowing of skin and eyes (jaundice)
nausea, vomiting
fever
weakness, tiredness, inability to work for weeks or months
abdominal pain and/or joint pain
dark urine

Hope that helps
C





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