Whether can be spread virus Hepatitis B through water contaminated a little blood?

It happened in the coffee shop, I have a small wound in my ear. I used a tissue to clean the wound and observed that there was a little blood on the tissue. Then, waitress throw tissue in the glass cup

I don’t make sure that the waitress throws the tissue into the trash can before washing it. I’m scared that she didn’t wash it carefully with soap. Whether it can be spreaded virus Hepatitis B into another customer who use this glass cup?

I get hepatitis B chronic from my mother. Currently, my viral load is 123.000.000 IU/ml

I read reference document that decribe: In 1946, John Neefe and co-worker trial fed orally pool serum hepatits and failed to induce the disease in any of ten normal volunteers

Hi @Liam,
I am not sure how much blood we are talking about here. But having a viral load of 123 million copies makes you more likely to infect others. My advice to you will be to take extra care where you leave blood behind. Do you know why you are not on treatment with such a higher viral load?
I hope this is helpful. Bansah1

Because I was infected from birth so I get chronic hepatitis B.
I did examinated hepatitis last year, all parameter is normal ( ALT, AST, GGT and Fibroscan F0) but HBV DNA 123 milion IU/ml, Doctor said need to monitoring every 6 month and no need therapy.
But In 2019 , I did test HBV DNA and got result 1,5 Bilion IU/ml. I dont know why different between two time examination.
I think both also good center with ISO 15189 standar. I trust results of them.

I worry whether it can be spread to another and help me assement risk infection
Thank a lot

I understand your liver function tests were normal, but the viral load is very high. This makes you likely to infect others. The higher the viral load the higher the likelihood of being able to infect others. I won’t be surprised that some providers will treat you because of your viral load. I hope this is helpful. Bansah1

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Hi all,

I’d be surprised if there was a transmission from this. Most complex biological entities (such as a virus) tend not to like being in pure water (I presume the cup held water). The osmotic pressures and lack of divalent cations in the solution can cause lots of problems with biological structures that have not evolved to deal with it (HBV has not). That being said, HBV is remarkably tough and would retain infectivity for at least the time the time it took the waitress to process the used cup. Washing it would remove the trace HBV in it rather efficiently. Plus, the trace of HBV remaining on the cup when the waitress handled it would have to have come in contact with a cut in her skin, another unlikely event. So although the risk is not zero, it is likely exceptionally low.

John Tavis

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Thanks your answer
According to what you said, after waitress process the used cup and fill new water in this cup to service for another people. Very low concentrations of residual virus in cup and virus are inactivated immediately before another person drinks it, that right?

Dear @Liam,

Yes, detergents are very good at inactivating hepatitis B (see discussion in other threads: Inactivating Hep B), so washing in soapy water will inactivate the vast majority of the small amount of Hep B (if any) that has inadvertently been left on the cup. Thus, the risk of transmission through this method is very low.


So, if she does not process it with soap, instead of only wash by water, that mean ability transmittion virus more high?
This issue has made me think a lot these past few days. I’m afraid it could infect others and this is very unfortunate.

Hi @Liam,

You cannot control what others do. It is expected in all restaurants that reusable items such as a cup are thoroughly washed prior to being used again, so please place your mind at ease. You did nothing wrong and the risk to others is extremely low.


I completely agree with @john.tavis here. We as people living with Hepatitis B cannot and should not bear all the responsibility and blame for any potential transmission. If you have reasonably carried out all the precautions you can, that should be enough.

Just as motorists and pedestrians share responsibility for road safety, so too does society as a whole share responsibility for limiting HBV infections. Those without Hepatitis B should be vaccinated, and take care to limit their exposure to blood exchange.

In any case, not treating cutlery and cups with soap is a serious food safety issue and more likely to transmit faecal-oral infections (e.g., norovirus) more than it is likely to transmit HBV.

Hope this helps,