Hepatitis C: Transmission and prevention

How hepatitis C is not transmitted

Hepatitis C cannot be passed on through:

  • Hugging, cuddling, kissing
  • Shaking hands
  • Coughing, sneezing
  • Shared use of toilets and bathrooms
  • Shared use of swimming pools and saunas
  • Eating from the same plate, with the same cutlery, drinking out of the same glass
  • Food which has been prepared by someone with hepatitis C
  • Having a child on your lap or in your arms
  • Clothing.

The virus is hardly ever transmitted in everyday contact with a person with hepatitis C infection. There is no reason to avoid someone with hepatitis C for fear of infection or to behave differently towards them. It is only contact with blood which should be avoided. Laundry and crockery can be washed or rinsed as normal. Boiling is not necessary.

This information was originally adapted from Hepatitis C: Understanding a silent killer, published by the European Liver Patients Association. It was updated in 2016.