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HSV1 transmission

Hi Terri,

I'm concerned as to whether or nott I am now at risk for contracting oral HSV1 from an event that occurred yesterday. I am negative (confirmed via Western Blot) for both HSV1 and 2, and my boyfriend is as well.

My boyfriend's mother gets HSV1 outbreaks under her right eye. Yesterday, when we visited her, she had an active outbreak under her  eye that was still weeping. She gave us both a hug and kiss on the cheek goodbye, and not wanting to be rude, we didn't pull away of course.

However, now we're concerned about contracting her infection. Given that she had an active outbreak my questions are as follows:

1) Even though her OB is under her eye, would she still be shedding virus from her mouth?
2) If she is shedding from her mouth, how likely are we to contract the infection from the brief social kisses on the cheek she gave us?

We are pretty concerned, and would like some reassurance if you can provide us with any. I understand that intact skin on the cheek is a pretty good barrier, and the skin is also pretty thick there. Does that make it less likely for us to get it? Thanks!
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55646 tn?1263660809
I serious seriously doubt that you are at any risk of acquiring her HSV infection, given the type of contact that you describe.  The kind of kisses we might give to a child or in your case a parent is so very unlikely to expose another person to sufficient live virus to infect someone else.  Yes, if she was having an outbreak near her eye, she could also be shedding from her mouth but I doubt that you would get it that way.

I hope this provides you with some reassurance.

Terri
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Avatar universal

I ended up not getting HSV from my boyfriend's mother, but I have one more question about transmission risk. I have a large wound on my lower lip because I got hit with a ball the other day. My mailman is a family friend and always give me a quick peck on the cheek when he sees me. He did this today, except the peck was on the side of my face quite close to my lips. I don't know if he gets cold sores, and he didn't have anything on his lips that I noticed. He didn't have direct contact with my lip wound, but was close to it. I immediately washed my face with soap and water seconds later. Is this a transmission risk?
Helpful - 0
55646 tn?1263660809
No.

Terri
Helpful - 0

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