[Question #5047] herpes help

27 months ago
Hello Doctors,

First I have to say I admire your work and follow you since the early medhelp days, we are lucky to be able to ask you questions personally.

I will try to be clear and quick , I'm a married man of 29, been with my wife for 8 years, never had an oral herpes outbreak ever, no recollection of one.

I made a huge mistake, 2 weeks ago a coworker of mine and me started kissing, on sunday my wife developed what it seems like a clear case of oral herpes, blisters on lips. I confronted my co worker and she says she as never ever had even a pimple close to mouth neither has her husband,

Im trying to find out how did this come to our relationship and I look at my mouth every 5 seconds to see if I got anything, anxiousness is 10/10.

question is, what course of action should I take? I read incubation period is 2-12 days, if I dont get anything in this days means me and co worker and clean and wife may be kissing another person?

I know this doesnt fall in std but i know that if wife has it she could transmit to my penis via oral sex.

Please let  me know what you make out of this, thanks for the help.
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
27 months ago
Well, it isn't possible to know for certain if this is a new infection for your wife or an old one, right?  Just because you have not seen it before doesn't mean she wasn't infected earlier in her life.  Is she distressed and curious about how she suddenly gets a cold sore?  It is possible that she has been kissing someone else I suppose but it is also possible that the person you were kissing is infected asymptomatically and transferred it to you and you transferred it to your wife, though it is odd that this would happen without you having any symptoms at all.  If you do not develop symptoms, I don't think that you can assume anything as many people have HSV 1 without any apparent symptoms. 
In terms of what you should do, I just don't know anything that you should do.  If you wife is distressed and pushing you for possible answers to her source of infection, perhaps you should just disclose this error. 
If you are concerned about this being transmitted to your penis by her giving you oral sex, then you may wish to consider obtaining an IgG antibody test to see fi you might be infected and now know it (and possibly you yourself are the source of her infection). 
It is puzzling for sure - please let me know what other questions you might have, OK?

Terri
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27 months ago
HI Terry, 

I'm glad you're the one who answered me on this issue, you do know herpes well! 

Yes it is puzzlingxi can't stop thinking about it. My follow up question is the following. 

1)ive worked with my coworker for 3 years, perfect skin she says she is very self conscious and she would know if she had it she insists she doesn't have it, I stopped kissing her a week ago. If I was the source of the infection to my wife, I would be passed the incubation period already correct? How many more days can I wait until I forget that I will get them, I look at my self every 5 seconds. 

2) if in a week also my coworker does not develop syntoms can this mean that my wife cold sore was a coincidence that happened to appear precisely now assuming my wife hasn't kissed anybody else? 

3)my wife is not pushing for me to say I was kissing another person but I feel like punishment right now for kissing another person, how often are the recurrences? 

Thank you, I know this Is a tricky question 
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
27 months ago
1.  this assumes that you would get lesions if you were infected, and that may not be correct.  Both you and the co-worker could be infected without symptoms.  If you don't develop symptoms within 2-10 days of the contact, I think you are not going to develop symptoms in this time period.
2.  I don't think you can assume that as your co-worked may be infected without symptoms.'
3.  The average number of cold sores per year is around 3-5 but that can vary greatly.  Remember that it is also possible that your wife was infected years ago and is having a recurrence, not a new infection

Terri
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27 months ago
Thank you so much Terri. This clarifies things but if it's not pushing it, I want to ask also. 
1) it's bein almost 10 days since I kissed my co worker last time but I shared fork with my wife and peeked her once during the outbreak, if I get them next week would that mean I got it from my wife and not from Co worker? 

2)I'm also finding the most possible explanation this is a recurrence from my wife which happened as a coincidence same time in kissing co worker. Can a recurrence be possible after 8years?

3)it's bein 5 days since my wife outbreak, when can we expect to get better? No fever no malaise nothing, can this description be consistent with a recurrence rather than a new infection? 

Side note. I bought abreva but is not seeming to work as fast. What do u recommend me to give her to speed up the healing process? 

That is my last follow up. Thank you and it was very nice to hear your answers. Have a freat weekend! 
27 months ago
I forgot to add... About a month amd a half, my wife developed a sever case of acne on her face, I thought it was acne but they are clear cold sores. Would acne make a recurrace more possible? 
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
27 months ago
1.  I do not believe that you will get an outbreak, certainly not from sharing a fork with your wife and a peck kiss - unless you kissed the cold sore?
2.  Well, certainly she can!  I wasn't aware that she had ever had a cold sore -this is the most reasonable explanation for sure
3.  Yes
Abreva may help her, but in the future, oral medicines, taking in the appropriate dose, would likely be more effective.
I really don't understand - if they were cold sores, then they were recurrences, right?

Terri
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