Infectious Disease Specialist Questions Herpes

Is herpes an infectious disease?

My ex-husband has been diagnosed with herpes around his mouth. I've read that this disease can spread through skin to skin contact, and I saw him and my daughter share a glass together. Can this disease spread that way?

4 Answers

People contract HSV-1 by touching infected saliva, mucous membranes, or skin. Because the virus is highly contagious, a majority of the population is infected by at least one herpes subtype of HSV-1 before adulthood. The chances of contracting herpes without an active lesion is much much less likely.
Herpes simplex virus is an infectious disease. It is transmitted from human to human. It can be transmitted when the virus from one person with active infection (sometimes the usual blisters or shallow ulcers are not visible) to another person, but it is passed only through skin contact if the recipient has a break in the skin.

It can be transmitted by contact of mucosal surfaces where there is no break in the mucosal surface.

there is a small risk of spread by drinking from the same glass of a person with an active lesion on his/her lip.
Herpes simplex 1 & 2 are viruses that are highly contagious and common in the general population.
Once infected, individuals harbor these viruses for the life-time.
In patients with intact immune function, they may appear as painful shallow ulcers that resolve without treatment, during periods of stress.
Commonly recognized as "cold sores" or "fever blisters'
Herpes viruses are contagious. Contact may occur directly, or through contact with infected razors, towels, dishes, and other shared articles. To prevent spread, avoid direct contact with cold sores or other herpes lesions. Minimize the risk of indirect spread by thoroughly washing items in hot (preferably boiling) water before re-use. Do not share items with an infected person, especially when herpes lesions are active.