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What are the chances of contracting herpes either orally or genitally?

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Practicing since : 2002
Answered : 2397 Questions
Australian or American Doctor to answer Please Hi, My sister was visiting and had an active cold sore on her lip. during her short visit she used the toilet and washed her hands (possibly face) drying on a towel in the bathroom. about 10 minutes later my young daughters (3 and 4) had a bath and used the same towel to dry themselves all over (including genitals). What are the chances that they contracted herpes either oral or genital? Question 2: Hypothestically, if my sister were to rub her coldsore on the towel, then 10 mins later my children dry themselves with it, would there then be any risk to them at all (oral or genital)? Freaking out a little here.... would appreciate an opinion. Thanks.
Posted Fri, 7 Feb 2014 in Blood Disorders
Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga 2 days later
Brief Answer: Concerns Detailed Answer: hello and thank you for sending the question. This is a very good question and I can understand why you are very concerned and worried right now. Honestly it is very unlikely that this virus was transmitted through mutual use of this towel. At this point there is nothing honestly that you can do other then continue to watch and observe. If symptoms develop you can have local physicians perform testing to confirm whether or not the virus was transmitted. Herpesvirus is very common. in fact most of us contract herpes type one from kissing older relatives when we are children. Thanks again for sending your question. If I can provide you with some reassurance I will again tell you it is very unlikely that transmission did occur. Along the same lines however it is not completely impossible. There is no way to guarantee you that the virus was not transmitted but again I feel it is extremely unlikely. Thank you again for sending the question. Dr. G
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