[Question #5275] Likelihood of HSV exposure

22 months ago
Hello,
My husband is HSV-1 positive.  About 4 years ago he popped kissed my daughter who was 4 at the time.  I did not see an active sore however he is a boxer and got punched in the mouth and that night he came home with a swollen lip and the next day he developed a cold sore. He gets hit often but this was the first time he developed this sore, another time was due to sun exposure. I am extremely nervous that my daughter may have gotten the virus. She has never had a sore and don't know if I should get her tested because we have two other kids and they share items. How much of a risk is here that she got infected?  Needless to say we have completely stopped his form of affection and only kiss on the cheek.
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
22 months ago
You should never ever do an antibody test on a child - the false positive rate for the IgG test with children is a whooping 50%!  I think the risk of him infecting her when there was no sores present is extremely low.  The kind of kiss we give our children is not the passionate kiss that we give a partner that is far more likely to result in transmission.  If she has shown no symptoms, I doubt that she is infected.

Terri
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22 months ago
Terri thank you for your response. Another thing that has been bugging me alot is I took my 4 year old to the dentist and the assistant stuck her hand in the garbage to throw something away and then I saw her put gauze in my daughters mouth. She did not change her gloves!  I am so angry at myself for not telling her to change her gloves and I am worried she touched garbage that had infections from saliva and blood on it from a previous patient and then went to touch my little one's mouth.  Aside from this how about instruments that are not properly cleaned and go into our mouths?   
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
22 months ago
I think dentists are very careful now about sterilizing instruments that go into our mouth.  Do you have a specific complaint about a particular dentist doing that?  If yes, then a complaint should be made to the dental board in your state.  I suspect that almost never happens and that instruments are sterilized.

Terri
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22 months ago
I feel my main concern right now is the assistant pushing garbage into a garbage hole and then touching my daughters mouth. I have no idea how to handle this worry that I have.  I don't know how much of a risk I need to be worried about my daughter being infected for this woman doing this.
22 months ago
Do you think I should get her tested for HIV and/or Hepatitis?  What  more accurate Herpes test can I do on her? I'm at a complete loss.
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
22 months ago
I most assuredly do not think she should be tested for HIV or hepatitis!   She may have put her hand into the garbage can but that doesn't mean she came into contact with any in the can, right?  The other thing is that I'm sure that she grabbed the gauze and was holding the part of gauze that was not in contact with your daughter right? 
Do you have any issues with obsessive compulsive thoughts or actions?

Terri
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22 months ago
Terri,
She stuck the gauze into my daughters mouth with the hand that she used to stuff the garbage in and I  am not sure what she touched in the garbage.  I do not know if there was anything with blood or saliva in the garbage that she may have came in contact with which then she put in my daughters mouth. This in fact a dentist office.  This is the first time I feel this horrible fear and kick myself for not stopping it.  Needless to say I feel like I failed my daughter.  How much of an exposure does she have to being infected with Herpes?
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
22 months ago
I think maybe one in 2 million?  This is an extremely low risk situation.  I do think it would be wise for you to contact this dentist and express your concerns to him about this situation and see if they can provide you with additional reassurance.

Terri
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