[Question #4549] Follow up to 4482

28 months ago
Hello DR.

I cannot get over my anxiety for the exposure in question 4482 that happened nearly 4 weeks ago. I know you said risk of Hep B is low. The think is I have nieces and nephews coming to stay for a couple of days over the holidays, ranging from 3 years old to 10 years old. I know they are not a family that has not been vaccinated. If I happened to be infected at this point in time will I put them at risk.   Precautions?  I am on pins and needles......
28 months ago
Dr. I just looked over my post. To be clear, I know the children are not vAccinated. 
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
28 months ago
Hepatitis B virus, and other blood borne viruses, never are transmitted in the home without overt blood exposure, sexual abuse, etc. You can have any normal contact with the kids, including hugging, snuggling, friendly (nonsexual) kissing, and normal play. And in any case, as discussed last time, the chance you caught HBV from the exposure described in your other thread is almost zero. Don't worry about it.

HHH, MD
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28 months ago
Hello Dr.  This has still been bothering me. I followed up with HEP B and C surface antigen tests today (5 1/2 weeks after exposure.). I had that funky rash on my butt three weeks ago and felt kind of sick that weekend with tiredness, slight fever. and achiness.   Also, have had a chest congeston(I do get them in the winter),and run down feeling since Thanksgiving.    Can I consider negative result prertty much conclusive on HEP after 5 1/2 weeks?  Thanks 
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
28 months ago
A hundred differnt viruses could cause the sorts of symptoms you have, and such infections of course are common this time of year. But hepattis B or C does NOT cause such symptoms; and your test resutls prove you don't have them. You don't need any more testing. 

You continue to seriously overthink a no risk situation. You probably need professional counseling. Your thinking on this is not rational -- it is not normal to remain so fearful after the reasoned, science based reassurance you have had. I suggest it from compassion, not criticism. However, this forum is not a substitute for such care. Sorry we can't do more for you.
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28 months ago
Hello DR>  I appreciate what you have said and have one final question.  Could 5 1/2 weeks be too early to show HEP B surface antigen as positive, but still have the virus.  I read that it can take up to 3 months to show positive and that the average is 4 weeks.  Can HEP B contribute to early sickness within a couple weeks of exposure?  IF so, would antigen test still be negative at 5 1/2 weeks.  Here is a recap of my symptoms over the last 6 1/2 weeks.  One week after exposure, itchiness all over and penis sensitivity.  Two weeks after exposure, flu-like symptoms and mild fever for a couple days, culminating in a rash on buttocks and sore on a prior anal skin tag that lasted to 5 to 6 days.  3 1/2 weeks after exposure (thanksgiving) until now 6 1/2 weeks, phlegmy chest congestion and run down feeling.  I was happy after my negative test 8 days ago, but my run down feeling and phlegmy, heavy chest  has persisted. Yesterday, I felt run down and noticed redness (rash) on my neck.   I tested negative for ghonorea, chlamidia, and syphilis at 4 1/2 weeks and negative for HEP B surface antigen at 5 1/2 weeks.  I know you think that I am irrational about this, but I haven't felt right since the exposure.  Have you ever seen someone test negative with some symptoms at this time frame, and go on to test positive and be diagnosed with HEP B at a later time?  How accurate can the test be considered at 5 1/2 weeks?   This will be my last question.  Thanks.....
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
28 months ago
HBsAg test probably is conclusive at 5.5 weeks; I doubt there is any difference between 5.5 and 6 weeks, but there is no research to prove it. Anyway, as already discussed, your symptoms are not typical for a hew HBV infection. In addition, even if it sometimes takes a full 6 weeks for HBsAg to appear in the blood, if your symptoms were due to hep B, the test definitely would be positive. In other words, that result is 100% proof that HBV is not causing your symptoms, and nearly 100% that you didn't catch that virus.

See a doctor if your symptoms continue or you otherwise remain concerned. And re-read my advice about professional counseling.

That concludes this thread. I hope the discussion has been helpful. Please note that repeated questions on the same topic are not permitted. This  being your second about this exposure and your infection fears, it will have to be your last. Further ones risk being deleted without reply and without refund of the posting fee. Thanks for your understanding.
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