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Abbreviate your cold sore with Abreva


Cold Sores: Environment Protection

What do I need to think about to protect my environment when I have a cold sore?

Infectious HSV is present in cold sores and in genital herpes when blisters are present. In such a situation, you should avoid kissing and sexual intercourse until such time as the lesions are healed. Avoid sharing utensils while blisters are present, and avoid contact with premature or newborn babies and wash your hands often.

The virus does not survive for long on surfaces and it is unlikely to be spread from inanimate surfaces such as toilet seats. However, it is possible to spread the virus by sharing, for example, eating utensils with your child.

For mothers with young babies and cold sores, good hygiene and handwashing is recommended.

It is more difficult to know how to protect your environment from viral shedding and a responsible approach would be to practice general good hygiene, hand washing, and protected sex.