My son is seven weeks old and perfectly healthy. However, I have a cold sore and it's nearly gone. The communicable disease manual I have recommends that individuals with cold sores avoid any contact with newborns. Other material I've found on the Internet advised just avoiding kissing and consider wearing a mask while the cold sore is present....which I have done since first realizing I've had a sore. I realize that the HSV 1 virus is a common cause of encephalitis in newborns and I'm trying to be careful. As you can imagine, not kissing your newborn even for a few days is very difficult.
One of my biggest concerns is knowing when I am no longer contagious. I realize that I could have inadvertently passed the virus along prior to having a visible sore. Some web resources have indicated that I should wear a mask only while I have a cold sore. My communicable disease manual on the other hand states that "secretion of the virus in the saliva has been reported for as long as 7 weeks" after recovery from the cold sore. I'd like to know if I still posed any type of risk? It's been difficult to go a couple of days without kissing my son. I'd hate to know I need to avoid doing so for 7 weeks.
Seemingly, a cold sore is such a trivial thing and should not generate so much concern...I'm just trying to be careful, knowing there's nothing trivial about encephalitis.
HSV1 is inevitable to be transmitted to your son eventually since it can be caught by casual contact.
Delaying that is helpful.
Contact is required, so if you wash hands carefully and refrain from kissing, that's helpful.
Although it's been seen in samples 7 weeks after recovery, it's at it's highest concentration when you have open sores, and that's when enough virus could possibly be passed, to cause an infection in others. It's not just exposure to a few viruses, it has to be a significant exposure of a lot of virus particles.
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