Can Hepatitis B be transferred in urine?

06 December 2009

Question

Can Hepatitis B be transferred in urine?

Answer

We put this to Graeme Alexander:Graeme - When I meet patients in the clinic, I get two types of question. One, from a patient who's scared that they'll transmit hepatitis B to someone they love - and then the other, from the person that they love, wondering if they'll catch it from their partner. And the answer is that you can't catch hepatitis B from urine. These viruses are actually quite difficult to catch, both hepatitis B and hepatitis C. And hepatitis B is acquired largely by contact with blood or through sex and hepatitis C pretty well only by contact through blood. So, you can live with someone for many, many years and not catch hepatitis B or C from them because close contact in the family situation is entirely safe.Chris - And I think the other mitigation is that there is a good vaccine for hep-B, isn't there? So if we identify people in a family situation who have one carrier and one person who isn't infected, we can vaccinate the uninfected person to protect them.Graeme - It's probably the most effective vaccine that we've ever come across, very effective and very safe once you've been vaccinated.

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