According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Hepatitis C survives outside the body, including in dried blood, for at least 16 hours, but no longer than four days. The time varies depending on the temperature and environmental surfaces.
The CDC says that while Hepatitis C spreads via dried blood, it is not possible to spread the virus via kissing, hugging, holding hands, breastfeeding, coughing or sneezing. The virus also is not spread via food or water. Although it is believed that Hepatitis C spreads via sexual contact, the risk is thought to be very low. This risk increases if a person has multiple sexual partners, is infected with HIV or engages in rough sexual intercourse.