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Can I transmit Herpes to my children through indirect contact?
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Can I transmit Herpes to my children through indirect contact?

I have genital herpes and am worried about secondary transference of the virus to my children through, say, a towel... Hypothetically, if I touched an area where viral shedding was occuring and then touched my child or something else that my child touched can my child acquire the virus through indirect contact? Can the virus (during shedding) be tranferred from, say, your genital area to your eyes or mouth or something from your hands? Any additional info would be greatly appreciated.
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Avatar_f_tn
My baby has eczema all over his body and so I am worried of him getting herpes from me, if I was shedding the virus, it got on my hands and then I touched my child could he get it?
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I believe the answer to that is yes.  That is why it is recommended not to share towels with someone who has herpes.

But the risk you talk about is very very low.  If you do get a water blister... be careful before it bursts because it is that water that is loaded with viral particles and that's usually how herpes is most often shed.  If you were to touch that fluid and then that fluid got onto a surface, it is possible to transmit it like that.  However even then the virus would have to be transmitted to the right mucous like surface such as a mouth, genital area, and yes eyes... scary. (the eye transmission is the scariest one, especially if it's the first ever herpes exposure)

I believe it is possible that the herpes can be 're-spread'.  To different ganglia... such as a genital exposure then going up to an oral exposure, then going to an eye exposure.  But the way this works has to be spread outside of the body and not inside the body.
For example... you get oral herpes... then you get an outbreak you take the fluid from the water blister and touch your genitals... then you it goes down there... then you take the fluid and squeeze it in your eyes ( don't do that )... now it's also there.  

I hope that helps... just be careful when you get an outbreak... it's the fluid in the blister that is loaded with viral particles.  And also be aware of 'asymptomatic' shedding that may occur but the risk of transmission during no symptoms is very very small.
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101028_tn?1348750963
you have absolutely NOTHING to worry about as far as transmitting your genital herpes to your children!  We call it a sexually transmitted infection for good reason!  We don't have that sort of contact with our children.

In a household, everyone should have their own towel, washcloth , toothbrush, razor and body puff - for reasons far beyond herpes transmission. Very common germs can be easily transmitted through sharing those objects so each person having their own is important.  As far as transmission through a towel - conditions have to be almost perfect in order for it to happen. You'd have to be shedding the virus actively, use a part of the towel on an area shedding and pretty much hand the towel to someone else to use and they'd have to manage to get the part of the towel with active virus on  on a thin skinned body part and rub it in vigorously with the towel.  No one has that sort of bad luck!  

The risk of eczema herpeticum is incredibly low in general. Most children who do develop it, give it to themselves from their own oral herpes infection.  Since 1 out of every 2-3 adults your child is around statistically has hsv1 orally ( and 1 out of every 3 of a child's playmate's ), taking precautions to protect your child against oral herpes is far more important than worrying about transmitting your genital herpes to them.  http://www.ashastd.org/herpes/herpes_learn_oralherpes.cfm  has terrific info on oral herpes and common sense approaches to protecting your child from it.  We really only see hsv2 as a cause of eczema herpeticum in adults, not kids.

grace
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Avatar_f_tn
This freaks me out as my youngest (9 month old) has eczema, and our family sometimes reuses towels, which we will now STOP doing (was just diagnosed with type 2 genital herpes a few days ago). I am afraid I accidentally infect one or both of my kids changing their diapers, or washing them, or taking a bath with them. I will want to die (literally) if my children contracted this virus through me. I am very scared of eczema herpeticum or whatever it's called. Neither child has ever had signs or symptoms on anywhere other than the mouth though I think my 3 year old has had a cold sore in the past (MAYBE) and I thought my 8 month old had a cold sore yesterday but now it seems to be gone and I fear I am being neurotic. Very scared. I love my boys and have taken baths with them and probably reused towels with them in the past. Shared drinking cups, etc... I am afraid if I touched my genital area inadvertently and then was, like, changing the baby's diaper could this happen?
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897535_tn?1295210035
Perhaps read Grace's comment again. Genital herpes is an STD - it requires sexual contact to transmit it. Furthermore, the herpes virus itself requires skin-to-skin contact, along with heat/friction. It literally needs to be "massaged" into the skin to be transmitted. Hence why sexual contact is how it's transmitted.

Towels should not be shared for the reasons Grace stated - and the risk of herpes transmission this way in theory could work, but in reality the risk is infinitely tiny and not worth worrying about.

No offense, but I don't see how you will be touching your genitals and not washing afterward. Not a judgment call, I guess I just ALWAYS wash my hands after using the bathroom. Handwashing in general is more important in regards to reducing the spread of the common cold and other viruses and bacteria. I always would wash my hands before and after diaper changes.  Still, even if you do forget to wash, the herpes virus survives for a very short time. I have genital herpes, and kids, and I never, ever think about it. Only my sexual partner potentially is someone I need to think about when it comes to genital herpes transmission.

As to oral herpes, please read the link Grace noted in her post. It's a fact of life for the majority of folks (and yup, kids get it too), and it's nothing but a pesky skin condition.
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101028_tn?1348750963
even if you don't wash your hands after using the bathroom it's still not really an issue. we really aren't literally dripping with herpes virus that gets on our hands and can be transmitted to others.

I really recommend you purchase Terri Warren's book "the good news about the bad news". It's under $15 on amazon new. it's terrific and has far more details about herpes than her free herpes handbook has. I think it will bring you a lot of comfort reading it.  she has a whole chapter on transmission of the virus and why we don't have to worry about transmission during day to day activities.

grace
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you all SOOOO MUCH!
=)
I have obsessive tendencies and this has helped ease my mind greatly.
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Avatar_f_tn
I guess I am bringing it back up, but I cannot help it.  I just found out I have herpes this week.  My oldest is known for using my wash clothes after I get out of the shower.  (I can recall one time she took a shower right after me and I handed her a wash cloth and she said she was using mine!) I am pretty good about putting them in the hamper.  But, I know she has used them in the past.  Should I get her tested?



Furthermore, should I start using my own bathroom for showering?  
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Avatar_f_tn
i have just been told 3 days ago i have herpes im now just 19 weeks pregnant and th last 3 days i have been going crazy and feel like my parents are treating me like its compleetly contagous and my fault on top of my partners blame and accusing me of sleeping around (the last thing i want to do right now) its clear i got them off him as this is my 1st out burst it kind of feels like every ones beaing selfish to how im feeling right now and i have no idea how to deal or keep this containd or even what my next steps should be other then the ovious keeping everything clean has any one got any good helpful advice?
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101028_tn?1348750963
this is an old post. please start a new one for your particular situation so it doesn't get confusing - thanks!

also please include with your post if you have hsv1 or hsv2 genitally too - thanks!

grace
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Avatar_f_tn
I just found out I have hsv2 I was devistated and I'm in soo much pain im taking my medicine as prescribed but the discomfort is unbearable :( is there anything i can do to sooth the pain n burning?
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Avatar_f_tn
Oh my gosh, just read your post.  I hope things have gotten better since.  its horrible that the people you should feel safe talking to about this are being so hard on you.  You are probably pretty hard on yourself to.  I really hope things are better and you have found someone you can trust and can give you all the right info.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi just wanting to know very specifically now that i know i cant transmit to my kids through domestic activities. What about dry kisses on cheek and mouth?  I have a little boy that is very affectionate and likes to steal kisses when im afraid to kiss him, i tell him no im sick. Im worried he kisses me when im sleeping too.  Please help ease my mind thank you. I have oral (side corner of my lip) herpes:S
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Avatar_f_tn
My kids luv to kiss and hug on me n i have herpes cn i transmitted it to them even if i let them kiss on my cheek
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Avatar_f_tn
My kids luv to kiss and hug on me n i have herpes cn i transmitted it to them even if i let them kiss on my cheek
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Avatar_f_tn
I found out 11 years agos I had gen herpes, I now have two girls, 6 & 7, and have always been so careful!  Today I found a blister on my oldest daughter, only 7 :( I feel like the worst  mom, like I have failed her and because of whatever mistake I made, not putting a towel away or I can't even imagine, she now has to live with this for the rest of her life! When will there be a cure for this one, please!
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Avatar_f_tn
i have herpes for almost three years n i recently starting dating this guy an he got tested n he found out he has it too.... although we are still together. he has outbreak and i never had one... what do i do to help him get thru this?
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Avatar_n_tn
do children get herpes from kissing u on lips?
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Avatar_m_tn
Recently my son went to the fair and played in the air filled plastic bubbles on the water- later he described the inside as hot and moist and My concerns about getting the flu etc. was very high.  Is it possible for transmission of herpes (oral) under those circumstances. (the kids caugh laugh and fall face 1st all over the surface of the bubble and sound like a good place to spread germs).  He has over the last week developed sores aroung this mouth - not on his lips and I am concerned what it is.  The scabs that are forming remind me of cold sore scabs.
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Avatar_n_tn
im not understanding how to use this forum. Tried to connect to notme2012 but dont know where my post went....I'm in the same boat and would like to try to connect to another mom who passed it to her kid. Just found out my 6 year old has it. I'm guessing he got it at birth as I was just getting over an outbreak, but there were no symptoms then. Any mom willing to connect via email? I created an email for this purpose.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi there. I tried replying to you a few days ago but I'm new to this and I dont think it went thru. I am in the same boat and just found out I transmitted to my 6 year old. I assume it happened at birth as I was just getting over an outbreak. I'm very distressed and feel like the worst mother. I could really use someone in the same boat to talk to. Are you still out there on this forum? I'm not eating lately and am so overwhelmed and depressed. How have you been coping?
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi Sid. I've had HSV2 for 25 years. I just found out that apparently I infected my 6 year old at birth, though he had no symptoms whatsoever when he was born. I was just getting over an outbreak and they told me there was no sign of it and it was fine to do vag delivery. I did. All seemed well until now. He just got an outbreak, on his FACE. I'm so horrified and am so upset that I didnt insist on a C section. They say it's only a 3% chance to pass to your abby at birth if it's not your initial outbreak. Well...whatever those statistics mean...the odds didnt work in my favor. I'm just so overhwelmed. He came home frm 1st grade yesterday and said kids were teasing him and asking him "what is that ugly thing on your face?"  It's one thing for me, as a grown adult....but for a little boy to go thru his whole life like this...and SO OBVIOUS...on his FACE! I'm just lost.  Please do your research and consider a C-Section. I trusted my medical provider and now my child has to live with this, publicly forever. My thoughts are with you.
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Avatar_m_tn
I've had HSV2 for a decade. I've had two kids, both by c-section. One is 3, the other is 1 year old. The older one is fine (as of yet). The younger one had her first genital herpes outbreak when she was 10 months old. It flipped us out. Neither one of us had had an outbreak from which we could have passed it to her (and it seems somewhere between highly unlikely and impossible to even imagine a circumstance in which we could have passed it to her genitals somehow). No one else is around her who could have possibly exposed her. I did not have an outbreak during my pregnancy. I did have outbreaks during the 3rd trimester of my first pregnancy, but I took a lot of valtrex becuase I was hoping to have a natural birth. With my second baby, I knew I would have a c-section so I wasn't taking a lot of valtrex because I didn't want to needlessly expose her to a drug if I was having a c-section anyway.

I'm coming to the conclusion she was most likely born with it, though she had no visible outbreaks (thank god) at birth. I've read so many different things about HSV transmission in general and during pregnancy, and been told things by doctors with such confidence that they were a "given." However, I'm beginning to think that the "facts" as are known about HSV transmission from mother to child are not as clear as they are portrayed to be. I believe the transmission of HSV is something that is still not yet fully understood. Partially becuase of the fact that so many people can be exposed to it and carry it without having/ long before having an outbreak.

My children are my world and I love them more than anything. If I had know that I could be passing this on to them, I might not have wanted to risk exposing them. People make light of HSV by saying oh 1 in 3 people have it, but if you have it, you either choose to live in denial and deceive your loved ones until you likely eventually give it to them, or you seek out another person who has it so that you will never have to be in the position of betraying and contaminating someone who you love. There are websites for that, but its a limiting way to live your life. It is a life-changing disease. There are worse things; my daughter could have HIV or another disease. But it crushes us to know that we caused this limitation on her innocent life, with so much stigma and shame attached to it. She will find someone to love, but the odds are they will resent her for it and/or she will accept less than what she should in a partner. Undoubtedly she will suffer additional anguish and heartbreak because of this.

And I suppose the odds of my son making it another 15 years without getting HSV from one of the three of us are rather slim....if he doesn't already carry it without symptoms. We are grief-stricken that we've hurt the people we love most in this world.
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101028_tn?1348750963
this is an old post. please start a new post of your own with any questions.

thanks!

grace
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Avatar_m_tn
I caught this disease 4 years ago from a scumbag boyfriend who cheated on me all the time. Only I got it on my mouth. I only had 1 outbreak when I first got it and then never again until now. I had a 6 year old at the time who is 10 now. I was super careful during the first outbreak so she wouldn't catch it and then I didn't have to worry about it again since then. It is only she and I so we share everything, drinks, towels, she steals my lipstick, etc. Well this time when I first started getting the sores on my mouth, of course I was super careful again about sharing drinks, etc. Then one day she got into my purse and put on my lipstick that I had used while I had a sore. Next thing I knew, she came down sick with flu like symptoms and now she has blister-like sores on her face, her chest and her lower back. I want to think they are eczema but the ones on her face, close to her mouth really make me think herpes, especially since she got sick before hand. I've never heard of getting it anywhere other than your lips and genital region but I'm pretty sure she has. I am very, very depressed about it too. I ruined her love life before she could ever have one. We all know girls have enough to compete with while looking for a mate and now I gave her another huge obstacle. I feel suicidal. I hate myself. My need to have a boyfriend and sex ruined her life.
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Avatar_m_tn
honey it is ok just go get her tested before jumping to conclusions. the dr will understand your concern. i have an almost 6 year old girl and i also have been diagnosed when i was pregnant with her with hsv2. i worry everyday and i also am careful. just try to cope and stay strong for her please! she needs her mother and she needs a strong mother the rest of her life. this is not worth her losing her mommy. i hope everything is ok now but please reply and keep me updated. i will pray for you and your daughter.
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Avatar_f_tn
I'm a 15 year old virgin and my mom has herpes and I am very scared me and my sister could get them from using the same towel. I asked my doctor about it and she did confirm that it is possible. She told me to watch for painful red bumps. I have been freaking out ever since. I confronted my mom about the possibility of spreading them to us and she didn't seem to care, she told me it was none of my business. I feel completely alone on this. Yesterday I noticed a red bump down there and it hurt. I broke down and cried for along time...keep in mind I'm not one to show my emotions...I have set up a doctors app and I am very nervous. And to think my 7 year old sister could end up with the same problem scares me even more.
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Avatar_f_tn
I have been diagnosed with hsv 1 for a year now with no symptoms. Have a 3 month old that loves affection but I am afraid to kiss, change her diaper, let her touch my face, hug, or even have her lay in bed with me to watch tv. Plus, I know Id gotten it from my husband because I'd previously tested negative for all stds but one cold day he came home from work complaining of itching & burning of the lips which subsequently revealed a cold sore. After it healed & I'd gotten retested a few months later, I am told that I have hsv 1. I had a major breakdown & blamed him as he is my only partner but he denies it & goes to get tested & says he's negative with no formal proof to say that he is indeed negative. Help on can I kiss, hug, change her diapers, bathe, & have her lay on my pillow with no symptoms? Can I kiss my husband without him possibly passing it on to her if he truly doesn't have it? If I have a pimple on my nose & it pops, can the hsv 1 spread through the pimple's secretion? How can I wash my face without transmission despite not ever having an outbreak?
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Avatar_f_tn
I have been diagnosed with hsv 1 for a year now with no symptoms. Have a 3 month old that loves affection but I am afraid to kiss, change her diaper, let her touch my face, hug, or even have her lay in bed with me to watch tv. Plus, I know Id gotten it from my husband because I'd previously tested negative for all stds but one cold day he came home from work complaining of itching & burning of the lips which subsequently revealed a cold sore. After it healed & I'd gotten retested a few months later, I am told that I have hsv 1. I had a major breakdown & blamed him as he is my only partner but he denies it & goes to get tested & says he's negative with no formal proof to say that he is indeed negative. Help on can I kiss, hug, change her diapers, bathe, & have her lay on my pillow with no symptoms? Can I kiss my husband without him possibly passing it on to her if he truly doesn't have it? If I have a pimple on my nose & it pops, can the hsv 1 spread through the pimple's secretion? How can I wash my face without transmission despite not ever having an outbreak?
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Avatar_f_tn
I am so scared because I think that my 5 year old son may have gotten the virus from me I don't know how that it is possible but I think back and he has used my towels and maybe even my wash cloth. I try to be careful about it but my partner is not and he watches him for me while i go to school and I am afraid that he has the virus and I do not know what to do any suggestions?
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Avatar_m_tn
I know how you feel, I too was diagnosed with HSV2 on my B-day a year ago.  I have it orally and have been depressed ever since.  I have a 7 year old and I talked with his Dr about the possibility of spreading it to him and was told some of the similar things I have read from other people (Not to worry, it won't happen).  Well, I am here to tell you it can happen and happened to me.  My son has had an outbreak of bumps on his cheeks, redness on his neck and shoulders and complaining of itching and headaches.  These are the same symptoms I have. I literally think of killing myself everyday.  I am so depressed and feel lost.  When my son's school called to tell me had a rash on his face that looked aggravated I wanted to die.  I don't even know how to tell them he has herpes at 7.
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Avatar_m_tn
I know how you feel, I too was diagnosed with HSV2 on my B-day a year ago.  I have it orally and have been depressed ever since.  I have a 7 year old and I talked with his Dr about the possibility of spreading it to him and was told some of the similar things I have read from other people (Not to worry, it won't happen).  Well, I am here to tell you it can happen and happened to me.  My son has had an outbreak of bumps on his cheeks, redness on his neck and shoulders and complaining of itching and headaches.  These are the same symptoms I have. I literally think of killing myself everyday.  I am so depressed and feel lost.  When my son's school called to tell me had a rash on his face that looked aggravated I wanted to die.  I don't even know how to tell them he has herpes at 7.
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi, I share your pain and here to also say it happens. I have HSV-2 orally and genitally, although I have not had any outbreaks or symptoms for a long while now. Despite using suppressive therapy all the time, I believe I may have transmitted it to my 10-year old son. I've been very careful about sharing things in the house, but even asymptomatically, it seems to have happened. How do I deal with the guilt, shame, and the overwhelming sense that I have let him down and saddled him with this for life? Now he will need to be on suppressive therapy, too. It is hard to go on day by day, but I have to. I have no other choice. I, too, don't know how to tell anyone. As with all who have this virus, you waiver back and forth between wanting to feel like "this is normal and more people than you think have it" and feeling diseased, guilt-ridden, and that your life is forever changed--because it is. I'm not a religious person, but I keep thinking about that adage that what doesn't kill you makes your stronger and we don't receive burdens we cannot bear. I have to be here for my son and find a way to manage the guilt and possibly find some redemption in this lifetime.
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