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Can Herpes Be Contracted Through Kissing?

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Posted on Thu, 26 Oct 2017
Question: I have been diagnosed with Herpes 1 & 2. I feel like I can no longer kiss my child on the mouth as he loves kisses on the lips is this true?


they said they may have vaccines in 2017 for testing and 2020 for actual trials. do you think they are getting there?

they also have something out there that people are adding hydrogen peroxide to water (drops) as its ozone therapy and some people then got rid of the virus altogether doing this as a 30 plan. do you know if this is safe?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis (18 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
transmission is possible with kissing

Detailed Answer:
Hello,

even if you don't have any visible lesions right now, transmission is possible due to viral shedding. If lesions are present then the risk for transmission is much higher. So kissing your son may result in transmission. Don't be that alarmed though as he'll probably contract herpes later in his life... Herpes in the lips is very very common.

There are no vaccines for herpes and none expected in the near future as far as I know. There is a vaccine for herpes zoster virus which is different from herpes simplex virus.

Don't be misled. Herpes cannot be eradicated with current medical knowledge. Perhaps in the future more would be possible but right now there are no such treatments. Herpes comes and goes. Its next attack cannot be predicted.

I hope it helps!
Kind Regards!


Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis (23 hours later)
1-I have only Herpe 1, can it be spread by toilet seat if dry or been an half hour and I walked away, or (my toothbrush if dry)-would my kids then be ok to sit on it.

2-You mentioned its no big deal to kiss your kids and they get it, bc it is very very common. HOwever- if he was to get it, he would experience an outbreak possible on the lips or the private parts, as I did.(only having herpe I) I am suppose to only experience on the lips but I got it severe on the private parts, and i wouldnt want a 5 yr old dealing with this? I think it is a big deal in that regards and never certain how often they will have outbreaks.
true?
3-am I more likely to get shingles, cervix cancer (im a women)? should i get a vaccine as i am 34.
4-if i kiss my childrens cheeks can it be transferred? (with no sores) ?yes? because slightly the inside of my lips saliva could be on their cheeks?
5-i was told to wait 6 months for the "shedding" process before having sex with husband, is it less likely he would get it, or no doubt he will?
6-i had to take a pill J49, and am feeling light headed and faint is this common. i have not eaten either in days as i also am not feeling like eating, but rather pushing myself to eat.
7-if a vaccine should ever be made will it protect them completely? from a kiss etc.

8-also something that it compulsive for me, if I bite my nail and then start typing is the virsus still on my finger so i cannot touch someone's face? i need to always wash my hands anytime i remotely touch my lips/mouth? or if it dries in the air, as Im typing.. do i need to worry about it? I am just carrying around antispetic wipes but going through them so quick bc I keep worrying. Will the germ live on the keyboard that I touched and for how long?

9-if i touch my lips and then touch my eye, can i also get another virus in the eyes?
i heard of a herpe eye virus?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis (1 hour later)
Brief Answer:
please read the text for the complete answer

Detailed Answer:
(1) Herpes spreads the same way regardless of its type (1 or 2). Don't worry about the toilet though. Herpes spreads with direct skin or mucosal contact with an infected individual. The infected person's site of involvement does not matter. The person who contracts herpes will get symptoms on the site that came into contact with the infected person. For example if you have oral herpes you can transmit herpes to your partner's genitals during oral sex.

(2) Herpes on the genitals is a big deal always but it requires sexual contact so this is out of the question for your children. Oral herpes is not a big deal usually but sometimes it may be. What I meant is that most people get oral herpes at some time during their lives. For young children it's not the best thing to happen though, you're right about that.

(3) shingles is caused by varicella zoster virus (chickenpox virus), so it has nothing to do with herpes simplex virus 1 or 2, except that they belong to the same virus class.

(4) if you have oral herpes (which is very likely) you may transmit the virus to the children although the transmission rate without visible lesions is - thankfully - much lower than with visible lesions. You can't transmit genital herpes by kissing though as this is located on your genitals only!

(5) shedding may occur at any time. If you plan to have unprotected sex then you'd better receive antiviral treatment (low-dose) which reduces the transmission rate significantly. Please keep in mind though that even with a condom the transmission cannot be excluded because transmission may occur through skin contact (even without visible lesions)

(6) acyclovir may cause a multitude of side effects including the ones you've mentioned although most patients do well with it.

(7) I can't say how protective a future vaccine will be! Some vaccines provide almost 100% protection, others may provide significantly less protection (as low as 60% of vaccinated persons, like the influenza vaccine for example)

(8) try to avoid thinking like that because herpes is probably going to live with you for ever... In theory you can even transmit herpes to your own fingers by touching infected areas of your body. Don't worry about indirect contacts though.

(9) You can transmit the virus from the site of involvement to other sites but this is not common. It's rather rare.

I hope it answers your questions. Please get back to me if you'd like any clarification or have more questions!

Kind regards!
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis (1 hour later)
Thank you Doctor Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis,
You were very detailed and able to dumb-down complicated information to someone, which makes you a Leader.
Your kindness and UNDERSTANDING makes you a Great Doctor! Thank you for taking all that time to answer my questions, as this is new and scary to me and afraid my fiance is leaving if he cannot get his head around it.
It's a new world, as I'm now more aware I can't share sodas, dips etc with my kids anymore and quite frankly...sad.
So thank you again, there were other doctors that said you can't pass it at all to kids and your answer "much lower" is I believe, a better answer.
Thank you again and do take care of yourself!! Especially if you have sweet children. We owe it to them. Kindly, XXXXXXX
doctor
Answered by Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis (32 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
You're welcome!

Detailed Answer:
Getting such warm feedback is the best reward for a doctor. I really thank you for that and I'm glad if I've helped a bit to clarify these distressing matters.

Let me share one last thought with you. This is not strictly medical but I have to say it. I've had a cold sore in the past (as a teenager) but I never forget to kiss my children whenever I can! Don't deprive your children of your love unless you really have to. Having active lesions is not the best time to touch them, but when they've completely healed you shouldn't (my opinion) let a minimal risk hold you back from getting into contact with them.

Kind Regards!
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis (21 hours later)
Thank you Dr. P-z,(not sure what they call you for short)!
you mentioned some interesting information that made me stew last night and I thank you for it. I only have 2 days on this forum and wouldn't want to go to anyone else but you, as you are so open, so forgive my last minutes...

Part 1
I thought i remember getting a cold sore as little girl, but certainly did not have the lesions i had this time around. is this something different than Herpe 1?
If I may ask, have you ever spread to your significant other, as its a more intimate relationship or is it really not that easy to spread. Bc i obtained very easily not knowing as their were no outbreaks?
If my son did get it -could he also have cold sores and genital outbreaks as I did? Not to mention then it would spread like hotcakes in daycares/schools/grandparents?- I would assume, hence why I'm so apprehensive to kissing him. and I couldn't imagine my parents having a genital outbreak!.
Thats why Im so confused with you getting just a cold sore as a teen as you mentioned, maybe the outbreaks aren't the same if you conjure it from mouth verses sexual activity??
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Part 2
As far a my fiance and I, he does seem to want to be intimate,
1- how do i know when I am completely cleared. I read some are cleared, but can still see the scars/or imprints of what were lesions?
2- With Type 1, Can you have sex (no genital outbreaks) if you have cold sores, just not kiss?

Being a realist, I read married couples often share the disease bc they are so intimate. And i read 1 is easier than 2 with outbreaks.
-So- of course i will protect him as much as possible however
3-would it be better if he got Herpe 1 from me than Herpe 2, as he is susceptible to either right now?
4- How would he get Herpe 1 vs Herpe 2 from me?
5-If he got Herpe 2 from me, then could I also get Herpe 2 from him, and he still able to get Herpe 1 from me?
6-Would it be safer if we both shared the same Herpe 1 and both then could not get Herpe 2 if neither of us has it?
Just actually trying to keep this as simple as possible between us...
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Part 3
for calmness of items..
a-if my son wants to eat a cookie hours later if i took a bite of it, is this ok
b-if i forget to throw towl in bin and hours later he uses, is virus still on it.
c-If he drinks from my water is virus still on it
d-going in a pool is different, bc virus cant live in it?
e- ginger bad or anything that causes outbreaks
f- i feel better from you, i don't have to wipe toilet every time, so long as it is not wet. right?
g- silverware how long live on it
h- if i run a cup under hot water (how long) to reuse on juice for my son, if i just used it, does this kill the virus? or must it be with soap and hot water.
just trying to lesson the pain in every day living...
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i do intend on kissing my son, thanks to you, as my doctor only said cheeks and forehead, and that broke my heart, so ty for that. but will be precautious and use alcohol on my lips, would this help you think. its manly from the saliva inside your mouth so if my lips are tight i hope this prevents.

Okay this is all, just needed these few more off my bucket of questions and so far you have been most open and easily to talk to out of all the doctors and quite honestly most knowledgeable, whether it is your caring heart or brain. but i think its a perfect mixture! Thanks again Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis!!!

one last thing!! if i have sex, should I be waiting 6 months like my doctor advised? will I break out again by having sex, as this is my first outbreak?
or should i get on viral pills forever? :(
doctor
Answered by Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis (2 hours later)
Brief Answer:
please read the complete answer

Detailed Answer:
Hi,

regarding Part 1 questions: thankfully it's not easy to transmit the virus without visible lesions. Otherwise - as you've already pointed out - everybody would have been full of herpes everywhere! Herpes 1 is usually involved in mouth sores but it's not 100%. Herpes 2 may sometimes be involved.

You only get herpes to the area that comes into contact with the virus. It doesn't matter whether the infected person has lesions in the lips or the genitals. The virus is the same (either type 1 or type 2) and the next to 'receive' the virus would present with lesions on the site of inoculation. For example herpes in the genitals may cause mouth lesions in a person giving oral sex to the infected one. So your son won't get genital herpes unless his genitals come into contact with the virus...

Part 2: when there are no visible lesions (particularly the blisters), the infectivity is much much lower. You just have to check for healthy skin (no lesions). Be careful though because there may be lesions inside the genitals (where you can't see them that is), so if you have an outbreak, just give it more time (1-2 weeks after the skin is clear). Keep in mind that there are no rules, this is just a practical suggestion.
With cold sores caused by either type 1 or type 2, you can have sex and feel safe unless there is contact with the mouth lesions.
From the patient's view, there is no real difference between type 1 and type 2. You can contract type 1 the same was you can contract type 2 and the clinical presentation would be the same. Some patients have regular outbreaks, others may forget they ever had herpes... So it doesn't really matter what type of herpes you have. What matters more is how lucky you are! If you get regular outbreaks it's going to be very annoying...

Part 3: normally a person is not in danger to contract herpes indirectly (that is by coming into contact with objects) as the virus does not live outside the body. I can't guaranty that fresh saliva won't transmit the infection though, so use common sense for that. Don't worry about toilet seats, silverware, swimming pools, cups, etc. As I said earlier use common sense on that; don't let the children come into contact with secretions that is...

Correct me if I'm wrong but we're talking about genital herpes here, right? Kissing has nothing to do with genital herpes so you can kiss your son as much as you like and wherever you like! If you have mouth lesions then kissing may spread the virus as the lesions carry heavy virus loads.

Outbreaks cannot be predicted (unfortunately). When the lesions are gone the infectivity is very low, so you can engage in sex again but be vigilant about 'hidden' lesions (and give it some more time). Taking 500mg valacyclovir per day will reduce the risk for your partner by as much as 50% to get the disease. Circumcision may provide additional risk reduction for him. Keep in mind though that many partners become infected sooner or later. The condoms don't offer 100% protection, particularly for men.

I see you're anxious about herpes and this is normal of course. I'll be glad to answer any further questions you may have. Again, thanks for the warm words you've used!

Kind Regards!






Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Panagiotis Zografakis

Internal Medicine Specialist

Practicing since :1999

Answered : 3791 Questions

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Can Herpes Be Contracted Through Kissing?

Brief Answer: transmission is possible with kissing Detailed Answer: Hello, even if you don't have any visible lesions right now, transmission is possible due to viral shedding. If lesions are present then the risk for transmission is much higher. So kissing your son may result in transmission. Don't be that alarmed though as he'll probably contract herpes later in his life... Herpes in the lips is very very common. There are no vaccines for herpes and none expected in the near future as far as I know. There is a vaccine for herpes zoster virus which is different from herpes simplex virus. Don't be misled. Herpes cannot be eradicated with current medical knowledge. Perhaps in the future more would be possible but right now there are no such treatments. Herpes comes and goes. Its next attack cannot be predicted. I hope it helps! Kind Regards!