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Sweat May Spread Hepatitis B

This news isn't good. In a study of Olympic wrestlers, the hepatitis B virus was found in the sweat of infected individuals. This means that if anyone comes in contact with that sweat, and then it enters your bloodstream through broken skin or mucous membrane they could contract the virus.

The same goes for blood and other bodily fluids. Dr. S. Bereket-Yucel, from Celal Bayar University in Izmir, Turkey, tested for the hepatitis B virus in blood and sweat samples from 70 male Olympic wrestlers. 9 people already had the virus in their blood, and the tests found that the virus was found in the sweat of 8 out of those 9.

The reason this is such bad news is that once you contract Hepatitis B, it can either leave your bloodstream and you develop an immunity. Or after 6 months, if it hasn't left your system, you'll be diagnosed with chronic Hepatitis B, and you can suffer severe liver damage.

So what does this mean? You probably shouldn't be rolling around on a mat half-naked with someone who you know has hepatitis B.

Seriously though, this brings new meaning to going to gyms, sharing equipment, or borrowing a used yoga or Pilates mat. Whenever possible, wipe off machines and equipment (like free weights). Most gyms have the policy to wipe things off when you're done, but you know there are people who don't.

Fit's Tips: I keep a little bottle of Purell with me so I can kill any germs that come in contact with my hands. I try not to touch my face at all, and when I'm done working out, I immediately go to the bathroom and wash my hands and face. It's sad that we have to be hyper-careful, but you've got to do what you can to keep yourself safe and healthy. Your best bet is to get vaccinated against Hep B.

Join The Conversation
Fitness Fitness 10 years
Hey all - I have added a little more info on how Hep B is spread. Here is the link to the University of Hawaii's Hep B web page for more information. And please don't use this as a reason to not workout, just wanted to give you all a little heads up.
vrico2005 vrico2005 10 years
Even the picture scares me on this one!
jessiedallas jessiedallas 10 years
maybe this sounds silly, but this is how my mind thinks, so here goes... so we can sweat it, but can our bodies absorb it through our skin just as easily? to me it sounds like thats what they're saying it by implying if you simply touch the sweat, but they're not saying how effectively it is absorbed by the skin...
tifygodess24 tifygodess24 10 years
And Yes, my Drama Queen side just came out,.. :)
tifygodess24 tifygodess24 10 years
Im SO freaked out! I workout everyday at a gym , and now everything I touch could be contaminted!!??? That makes being lazy look so much better.... I know my couch doesnt have hep b! :) NO, but seriously, Im freaked out now........I really dont know anything about this disease , and the Hep's confuse me , isnt there three? A,B and C? And whats the difference? A little more info would have been nice
princess_ash princess_ash 10 years
Ew that's so gross!!! Ew ew ew ew ew....makes me happy that I'm a big advocate of running outside!
Butrfly4404 Butrfly4404 10 years
Eww! The MN State Wrestling tournament got postponed because a herpes virus was spreading through sweat and on the mats. Ish.
tlwilliamson29 tlwilliamson29 10 years
1/100 bleach is the only thing that will kill the hep B virus. Hep b virus can live on hard surfaces for a very, very, very, long time. Not many hand sanitizers have bleach in them. Not any for that matter. Get your hep b vacine.
aragornrain aragornrain 10 years
I always wash my hands after a workout at the gym. Who knows what kind of illnesses people might be sweating out all over the place.
juliet juliet 10 years
ew ew ew ewwwwwwwwwwwwww!!!
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