[Question #2592] Herpes transmission to child

43 months ago
My husband & I are both HSV2 positive. My husband has never had an outbreak but it is my understanding that he can still pass the virus. Recently my husband & daughter were bathing together. My daughter sat on my husband's belly at the base of his legs leaning against his legs. (He is careful to tuck his genitals behind his legs so she has no contact with his genitals.) A few days later my daughter had a severe itchy rash on her genitals- vagina & anus. She has had antibiotics & nothing is helping. Could my husband have passed her the herpes virus while in the bath? I have read it can be passed from any part of the body that boxer shorts cover. She is only 4.
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
43 months ago
NO!!  This is not a method of transmission, you should have zero worries about your husband passing herpes to your child via a bath.  And it is not true that it can be passed from anywhere in the boxer shorts area.  There can be OUTBREAKS in any area covered by a pair of boxers, but thigh and buttocks and bellies do NOT shed virus as the skin is too thick for shedding.  Please be reassured that this is NOT a risk for transmitting herpes to your child.

Terri
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43 months ago
Hi Terri- ok thank you for the reassurance. My only follow up to that is that my husband shaves his groin area to keep it "clean" and that if he had done that and if there was any kind of small nick or cut  from that (even microscopic) could he have passed her the virus from the same bath scenario I described above? I'm trying to rule out herpes as a possibility as we have still not identified my daughter's rash & by the time we saw 2 pediatricians and finally were referred to & got into see a pediatric detmatologist, the rash was gone. But she had it for 3 weeks or so...
Thank you for your help.
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
43 months ago
Even if he had a small knick in the skin from shaving, he is not at risk of transmitting herpes to your child in the bath.  The dilution factor alone plus the antiviral activity of soap would keep this from happening

Terri
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43 months ago
Hi Terri- so as my 2nd follow up & for my own peace of mind..., the only way my daughter's genital rash could bhave been herpes is if her genitals had had some sort of contact with my husband's in the bath. Thank you
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
43 months ago
exactly, and that contact would had to have been more than a brief touch - it would have had to have been more extensive. 
A professional looking at the rash could most certainly tell if this was herpes or not.  I believe you can put this worry to rest, honestly.

Terri
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