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Date of last update: 10/18/2017.

Forum Name: Dermatology Topics

Question: Herpes Simplex

 aprilgirl12 - Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:59 pm

Hi, I was just wondering how long the Herpes simplex virus (ie. the one causing cold sores) can live outside the host. If you use a towel on the outbreak, or if touch the blisters with your hand how long does it survive?
Thanks in advance.
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Sat Apr 21, 2007 8:16 pm

User avatar The herpes virus is not a very strong virus and dies quickly outside the body.

Reportedly it can only live for a few minutes outside the body. It does not like to live in cooler temperatures than body temperature, nor does it like dry conditions.

Transmissionfrom a towel is very unlikely. Theoretically if one were to touch an open blister then immediately touch an area of broken skin the virus could be transmitted.

Best wishes.

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