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Date of last update: 10/12/2017.

Forum Name: Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Question: hsv1 transmission during healing

 coupland10 - Sun Dec 16, 2007 7:49 am

I've had the oral form of herpes since childhood. I get outbreaks during times of extreme stress- right now it's depression, among other things. My outbreak of the virus is over, and the healing has completed. My lips, however, are very dry. I avoid using my chapstick so I don't re-infect myself once the outbreak is over. And because my lips were dry, when I smiled, my lips cracked where the sore once was. The sore from the cracking is closed, but still red. Is it possible for me to spread the herpes virus now?
Also, I read in another post that herpes cannot be transmitted via water. This is true, yes? Just to clarify. I specifically recall a health education teacher saying otherwise. I grew up with a fear of innoculating myself in the shower.
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Mon Dec 17, 2007 10:11 pm

User avatar Hi Coupland10,

I'd like to give you a bit of information about the herpes virus to help you and our other readers know more about it. The herpes virus is a virus that lives in the nerve roots so once an infection occurs it doesn't ever "go away". Instead, it lays dormant and reactivates from time to time causing the cold sores to return. Because the virus never goes away it can be spread at any time. The virus is most contagious when a sore is present.

The virus is not particularly strong so it can easily be killed by soap and water. It is not spread through water. Instead it is spread by direct contact, such as from mouth to mouth by kissing. It is also spread by contact to the genital area either by mouth or intercourse.

Transmission through the shower is very unlikely.

Best wishes.

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