[Question #1098] Herpes transmission

49 months ago
I have an outbreak on my nose and my 6 year old woke up with nightmares.  I held him while he fell back asleep and fell asleep myself.  My nose was uncovered (I usually sleep with a bandaid just in case he wakes up) and I know I itched my nose last night while I was sleeping and I don't think I then touched him with my hands; and I'm pretty certain my nose didn't touch him directly but I'm still worried.  He already has it on his lip. Should I be worried about him getting it in another area?  If so, for how long? Thank you.
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
49 months ago
If he already has a herpes infection on his lip, you don't need to worry about re-infecting him in a new location on his body.  The virus now lives in the trigeminal ganglia and that nerve group supplies nerves to the face.  You should not be surprised or worried if at some point he gets an outbreak in or in his nose.  If he does, it will be because the virus has simply traveled along a slightly different nerve to get to the surface of the skin - nose vs. lip.  It will not be because you have done anything or because you didn't prevent something you should have prevented.  Does that nerve concept make sense?  Can I clarify it more for you?  Please let me know if you have other questions.

Terri
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49 months ago
Very clear, thank you.
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
49 months ago
You're welcome.  Now you don't have to worry about him touching your nose or your lip should have a cold sore.  Lots of moms and dads worry about that. 

Terri
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