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How long does Hepatitis C last outside the body?


Hepatitis C. appropriate to its intimidating name, it comes with dangerous health consequences, causing an attack on the liver an inflammatory infection.  It’s one of several hepatitis viruses, and is considered one of the most serious.

Compared to other viruses, the hepatitis C is the most serious of the hepatitis viruses. As for surviving outside the body, HCV can live “for days in dried blood on surfaces, or for months in a liquid medium under favorable conditions.”

The  U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated, ” HCV can survive on environmental surfaces at room temperature for at least 16 hours but no longer than four days. The more fragile HIV virus, in contrast,

only lives on surfaces for a few hours, while influenza viruses may survive for several hours up to about a day.”

Depending on the conditions, viruses are able to survive longer on surfaces such as stainless steel. They survive for a shorter time on surfaces that are softer, such as fabric. Also, “HCV can live longer at cooler temperatures and prefers humidity to dry conditions.”

Kris Krawczynski and colleagues, presenters at the 2003 American Society for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) meeting  give this advice-“The potential for HCV to survive in the environment re-emphasizes the importance of cleaning and disinfection procedures, safe therapeutic injection practices, and harm reduction counseling and services for injection drug users.”

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