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Herpes of the ear?
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Herpes of the ear?

Hi all!

I had a question. I've never really been concerned about contracting a herpes infection. I have been tested annually for all STD's at my gyn's office when I go in for my appointments, and everything always has come back negative. I have rather an interesting concern! My grandmother recently came to live with me, and she has gotten cold sores for years and years. She always avoids kissing me when there's a sore present. Well, the other day, she gave me a wet kiss right on my ear. Some saliva kind of went in my ear canal. She didn't have any sores present from what I saw, but a friend told me you can get herpes through saliva and through the ears! I don't know much on the subject, but is this some sort of risk? This happened yesterday evening, and I've been curious about it since I spoke with my friend last night on the phone. I've never been concerned with it until now! What do you think? Should it be a concern? Thank you!
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101028_tn?1348750963
this isn't really a risk for you at your age. It's more romantic type kisses that are a risk for transmission of oral herpes once you are an adult.  saliva is also a very poor vector for transmission of the virus too in general.

grace
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Ok thanks! I was more or less grossed out that my grandma drooled in my ear. How would one get herpes in the ear then? My friend showed me pictures on google, and it looks painful. The captions said zoster, what is that? So, basically since I don't romantically kiss my grandma, there aren't any special precautions I should take now that she's living with me?
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897535_tn?1295210035
Shingles is herpes zoster, not HSV. Two completely different viruses.

You can read more about oral herpes here:
http://www.ashastd.org/herpes/herpes_learn_oralherpes.cfm
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101028_tn?1348750963
usually herpes in the ear is from oral herpes moving along the nerve and causing an obvious recurrence on the ear.
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Ah ok. That makes sense. So is there anything I should do now that I'm living with her that would kinda be on the cautious side? I basically just keep distance when she gets her sores, but I've never thought it was an issue with her spit when she doesn't have them. Is it safe to assume that what I've been doing is alright? Should I not have contact with her spit at all?
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101028_tn?1348750963
as an adult, oral herpes is almost exclusively transmitted through romantic type kisses - not the type of contact you have with your grandmother :)

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Thanks! I just didn't want to think all of my time being careful was in vain! The last thing I want is a herpes outbreak on my ear because my grandmother drooled in it. Some of those pictures of ear herpes are pretty gnarly.
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Avatar_m_tn
I just posted something similar in the Expert Forum! I work with the mentally challenged and the same thing happened to me, and I'm concerned about contracting the virus through these means too! I've just seen so much conflicting information that I don't know what's right and wrong. I've seen that you can get it through skin-to-skin contact, saliva, and such...but then see other opinions! I can't seem to find too much information on the ear.
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