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Cold sores to baby
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The STD Forum is intended only for questions and support pertaining to sexually transmitted diseases other than HIV/AIDS, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, human papillomavirus, genital warts, trichomonas, other vaginal infections, nongonoccal urethritis (NGU), cervicitis, molluscum contagiosum, chancroid, and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). All questions will be answered by H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D. or Edward W Hook, MD.

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Cold sores to baby

Hi doc,
I am worried about transmission of my cold sores to my 10 month old. We took him to urgent care yesterday and they diagnosed him with a middle ear infection. Now a day or so later he is still crabby and not himself. I am worried also because I see what appear to be red bumps on his upper lip.

Could they have misdiagnosed him with a ear infection when in fact he is having a initial outbreak of cold sores? I ha a cold sore a few weeks back and worry to death I gave it to him. Are ear infections a sign of initial outbreak?  I am very worried about this. Thanks.
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Welcome to the Forum.  I am not a pediatrician but will try to help.  If you get cold sores, I presume that (whether or not she knows it) your partner is also likely to have HSV-1 infection (remember, over 60% of adults have HSV-1 and most do not know it).  Thus there is a chance that at some point during his childhood your son may acquire HSV-1 (cold sores).  This is not the end of the world (far from it).  As for whether a new HSV-1 infection might be mistaken for HSV-1, the answer is no, an experienced pediatrician should not have any trouble differentiating the two.  Further, HSV-1 middle ear infections are quite uncommon.

The red bumps on his lip may or may not be related to the ear infection.  Again I think this is something better asked of your pediatrician than on this forum.

Sorry I can't provide more information.  EWH
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H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D.Blank
University of Washington
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