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Strange Ways to Get Hepatitis

Updated on November 27, 2017
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Rebecca is a certified Medical Assistant fascinated with the strange and unusual.

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Nobody wants to get the blood disease known as hepatitis. It cause illness and a stigma of famous proportions. People all over the world have hepatitis, especially hepatitis C, which can remain symptom-free for decades. Luckily, all types of hepatitis are avoidable if you practice safe relations and avoid illicit drugs. However, there are some strange ways to get hepatitis, so pay attention - and avoid the following situations whenever possible.

Nail Salons

Think about it - hepatitis is transmitted through blood. Next time you get your nails done, watch the tools in use. These places are not fully disinfecting the cuticle trimmers or nail drill between customers. It's actually common for flecks of blood to be left on these items. If you get nicked while getting your nails done, you have a chance of contracting infected blood. Use caution at these places, or learn to do your cuticles at home. If possible, find a place that uses clean instruments for each customer.

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Poor Bathroom Habits

The bathroom is a dirty place, and if you don't practice basic hygiene, you run the risk of picking up some nasty illnesses. If you use someone else's toothbrush, you need to remember that the other person's blood might be on the brush. We don't disinfect our toothbrushes after use, which is why they must remain personal items. It's far healthier to head out into the world with bad breath than it is to use someone else's toothbrush. Toilet water is another hepatitis-rich area, especially in public restrooms. When you're done sitting, stand up before flushing. Flushing causes water droplets to be thrown from the bowl, which could contain hepatitis. If these droplets blast their ways into your mucus membranes, you have a chance of being infected.

Getting Dialysis

Unfortunately, studies have shown that dialysis patients run a higher risk of contracting hepatitis. Professionals theorize this has something to do with both the reduced immune system and the fast turnover between dialysis patients. The staff simply does not have time to fully clean the dialysis center when a patient is finished. It is sad that a necessary medical procedure puts people in need at risk, but medical centers are currently working hard to remedy the situation.

Spilled Blood - Weeks After the Fact

Getting hepatitis from spilled blood is a no-brainer. The shock comes when you realize that hepatitis can live in blood for up to three weeks after it is spilled on a surface. If you think blood is gone after being cleaned up with water and a towel, you would be wrong. Blood needs to be removed with a solution of one part water and ten parts bleach. This is the only way to kill whatever bacteria is in the blood. You don't want to accidentally set your food or open wound on that spot and risk your own health because you don't want to clean properly. It could be as simple as an infected person dripping blood on the counter, then your cat scratching your hand, then you laying that scratched hand on the infected counter. This risk lasts for up to three weeks. Don't take the chance - clean properly.

Clean up that blood spatter right away!
Clean up that blood spatter right away!

Having Diabetes

Hepatitis is a liver issue. It stops the liver from doing what it needs to do. Diabetes stops the body from making proper insulin, which puts a strain on the liver. Similar to the dialysis patients, diabetes patients have a reduction in liver function. This means that the liver simply cannot fight off the infection. If you have diabetes, you need to be extra diligent about not getting hepatitis as well.

Being Born, Now or At the Wrong Time

Babies whose mothers have hepatitis are most likely born with it. What's more, if you were born at the wrong time, your chance increases. Baby boomers, born from 1945-65, are five times more likely to have hepatitis than any other age group. This is thanks to the "free love" of the 60's and 70's, and to the fact that donated blood was not screened for hepatitis until the 90's. Anyone who received blood before this date is at high risk of having the affliction.

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