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Several coworkers have herpes. Been sanitizing frequently. Pain if the right mandible is pressed. Could this be herpes labialis?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2009
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I recently started a new job in the dental field. Several of my coworkers, including my closest coworker, have herpes labialis. One has herpetic whitlow. I have been sanitizing everything frequently since I noticed, but I can't control everything.
I just noticed that when I press firmly on the posterior aspect of the angle of my right mandible, there is pain. When I press on it, the pain is moderate.
Could this be a manifestation of herpes labialis? I do not have any tooth pain. There is a mild irritation in the ear, but I have had an ear infection on and off for the past two years or so (I worked in a pediatric office before).
Thank you!
Posted Tue, 22 Oct 2013 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. Chobufo Ditah 1 hour later
Brief Answer:

Detailed Answer:
Hi and thank you so much for this query.

Nothing sounds more frightening than living with the constant fear of the possibility of getting infected. I honestly hope you get to no longer have to live in this constant fear.

From the information you have provided, it is very unlikely that this is a herpes labialis manifestation. Herpes labialis manifest with vesicular lesions and not pains when pressed. if it were spontaneous unprovoked pain, it could have raised the possibility of prodromal signs but nor when pressed.

Prevention is better than cure. Washing the hands with soap all the times along side the use of sanitizer is the best thing to do. Avoid contact as much as possible and keep stepping up your hygienic measures.

I wish you well and hope your query has been fully addressed. if you have any follow up questions for clarifications, please feel free to ask me and I would gladly address them. Once more, thank you for using our services.
Dr. Ditah, MD
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Several coworkers have herpes. Been sanitizing frequently. Pain if the right mandible is pressed. Could this be herpes labialis? 15 minutes later
Thank you so much for your reply, Dr. Ditah!

In the case of an incident in which I touch a possibly contaminated area (I know HSV does not live long on surfaces but I do know oral HSV *can* in rare circumstances be transmitted through inanimate objects) and then have a complete brain lapse and touch on or around my mouth, what is the best course of action to take? Would it help at all to apply an alcohol solution or use a prep pad to swipe the area quickly? (I know it would hurt... but I'd rather have 10 minutes of stinging than 80 years of HSVI!!!)
Answered by Dr. Chobufo Ditah 9 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Wash abundantly with water and soap, then

Detailed Answer:
Hi and thanks for the follow up.

Please, do all not to get in contact with this virus. I believe your co-wokers should appropriately cover these lesions and prevent many others from getting contaminated. To be honest, it sounds like so many clients are at risk if you, a coworker, should get this worried about the chances of getting contaminated. This may ruin the reputation of your dental facility. Please talk with the managers and let them take active steps to protect coworkers and clients.

Please, always use gloves when at work. Wash hands after taking them off and before touching any part of your body. if you should mistakenly do so, then wash with abundant water and soap and also apply a prep just for disinfection to be double sure.

Hope this helps. I wish you well and please, be careful before you get to develop Obsessive compulsive disorder as a result of this. Thanks
Dr. Ditah, MD
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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