HOW DOES A COLD SORE SPREAD?

The oral herpes virus is spread through direct skin-to-skin contact. It is even contagious when you can’t see a cold sore. Most people first contract the cold sore virus (HSV-1) when they are very young, usually by skin-to-skin contact with an adult carrying the virus.1 The virus can spread in various ways: through kissing, or by sharing objects like toothbrushes, water bottles, drinking glasses, and silverware.2 It is also possible to spread the virus from the mouth to the genitals, eyes, and other parts of the body.

HERPES CAN BE SPREAD BY:

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KISSING AND CLOSE CONTACT

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SHARING UTENSILS

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SHARING A TOOTHBRUSH

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TOUCHING THE INFECTED AREA

If you think you might have oral herpes but are unsure, please speak to a healthcare professional about getting diagnosed. They can identify whether or not you carry the oral herpes virus (HSV-1) through signs, symptoms, and your medical history.2

  1. Fever Blisters and Canker Sores. National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. (1992, July). Retrieved April 25, 2016, from http://publications.usa.gov/epublications/fever-blister/fever-canker.html
  2. Cold Sore Causes. Mayo Clinic. (2015, May 15). Retrieved April 28, 2016, from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/cold-sore/basics/causes/con-20021310