Shared Electric Shavers
May Spread Hep C And
Other Disease
BOSTON - Shared electric razors may spread hepatitis, a Boston Medical Centre doctor warned in Thursday's New England Journal of Medicine.
Dr. Colleen R. Kelly said electric razors may explain why so many patients in veterans hospitals - up to 24 percent - show signs of being exposed to hepatitis, the potentially-deadly liver disease.
The exposure rate in the general population is less than 6 percent.
Kelly realised while working at the Veterans Affairs Hospital in Boston that the hospital had an electric razor for every ward. Each razor was passed from patient to patient without being disinfected.
"Although I am not aware of whether hepatitis B or C virus has been isolated from electric razors," she said, the ability to spread the disease through shared razors "is a potential hazard" because "shaving is well known to cause small abrasions and small cuts" that can release contaminated blood.
Kelly said "efforts should be made to replace community razors with the disposable, single-use variety in Veterans Affairs hospitals and in any other institution where they are in use."


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