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Is HSV1 virus contagious?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2001
Answered : 14690 Questions
If a person is eating ice cream and has the HSV1 virus but has no visible cold sore, and a second person who does not have HSV1 eats a bite of their ice cream with a different/clean spoon, are they at any risk of contracting the virus?
Posted Thu, 31 Oct 2013 in Men's Health
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 50 minutes later
Brief Answer:
the risk is very small

Detailed Answer:
HI, thanks for using healthcare magic

HSV-1 is very prevalent , it is found in 70% of adults in developed countries and close to 100% of persons in developing countries.

The virus is primarily transmitted by a person with active lesions though spread can also occur when a person does not have any symptoms. One medical study that ran for almost 2 years (691 days) found that shedding of the virus occurred on 12% of those days.

The virus cannot survive long outside of the body but this time is normally a few hours.

For herpes to be transmitted in this case, the virus would've to have been transferred to the ice cream then taken up by the other person.

The risk is small because the person does not have any active lesions and a different utensil was used.

It is very unlikely but exact figures are not available, it is likely less than 10% risk .

I hope this helps,feel free to ask any other questions
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