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[QUOTE=kamikaze]my cousin went to a different country and he came back with it, could it be genetics that he got the hepatitus b from his parents? cause i know he didnt have sexual intercourse with anyone cause he told me, so how could he have gotten it? and so sharing food n drinks with him won't get me hepatitus b?[/QUOTE]

hi kami,

there is no genetic component of hep b--or any viral hep. a baby can contract it, either in the womb or birth canal or afterward, but that has nothing to do with genes. it is a viral disease.
as far as i know, and as far as the us/nih centers for disease control publishes, hep b transmission always involves the exhange of blood or blood products, whether by iv needles, transfusion, unsafe sex or similar vectors. the cdc faq on hep b specifically says you cannot get it from sharing food or drink with someone else.
not to start a family spat, but it is possible that your cousin has not been entirely forthcoming.

on the other hand, and hoping for a nicer solution, it is also possible that he had hep b before the trip and just never was tested before. if he has a chronic infection (infrequent with hep b, but it certainly does happen) there is a chance it was acquired long ago. on the third hand, it takes anywhere up to 10 weeks to show up in a blood test, so when did he go, and when was he tested?
had he been tested at any other time recently so as to pin down more closely when the infection started?

sean





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