[Question #6620] Herpes in throat

12 months ago
Hello Terri (if I get you again). So I asked the question about giving my kid herpes possibly on his lip. I have a follow up to this issue. On day 12 after the encounter (I performed brief unprotected oral for 5-10 seconds and then finished with a condom), I developed what looked like sores on my tonsil area. Maybe 3-4 sores. I was also feeling Ill that day and a 1-2 days after. Tired, ear aches, and then a TON of anxiety. The sores weren’t painful but I could feel them when I was swallowing. That was Saturday and it is now Monday. Starting to feel better and go away. My question is, should I get tested? There has been some colds / virus going around my job and home. Could another virus cause this? Or is it most likely herpes? No other sores anywhere else. None on my lips or anything. I’m sort of a mess over this. You said it is unlikely I could get herpes from that brief encounter. If he had HSV1 on his penis would that transfer easier to me orally or still unlikely? There were no sores present and he said he has never had one. 
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
12 months ago
You are out of the traditional incubation period for symptoms from a new encounter AND if the rash was caused by herpes, I seriously doubt that the sores would resolve this quickly.  The best strategy would have been to have them swab tested for herpes but that ship has sailed.  Also, herpes lesions in the throat are generally quite painful.  HSV 1 on the penis would rarely give off virus so I doubt that is what is going on.  Have you ever had a herpes antibody test to actually know your status prior to this encounter?

Terri
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12 months ago
Thanks again Terri! I did end up going to the doctor and the bumps / sores were still visible (about 3-4 days from when I noticed them, but smaller and I can’t feel them when I swallow anymore). I asked my doctor if he thought they looked like herpes and he said no. I also asked if we should swab them or anything else in my throat and he said it seemed viral to him and not at all like herpes. They were not painful no.  I have never had a test for herpes as I’ve never had any sores anywhere so didn’t see the need.  I was a little fearful of performing oral on my wife and passing something to her that way. I was convinced it was herpes but I’m sure that happens to people with sever guilt and fear of sti’s. Do you think it’s safe to resume normal sexual practices with my wife at this point? And to sum it up, it would rarely be HSV-1 shedding from the penis, so if something were transmitted to me, I would have been HSV-2 most likely, which doesn’t like the oral region. And then, I would have only had sores on my tonsils and nowhere else. This seems unlikely from what you have already stated. 
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
12 months ago
I wish I could give you 100% certainty on this - not possible - but to me, this seems extremely unlikely to be herpes and I'm glad your doc concurred.  I know this event has caused you enormous guilt and stress.  it would be so helpful if you had a good friend or better yet, a professional, with whom to discuss this.

Terri
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12 months ago
I appreciate the advice Terri. I’m sure I could benefit from that as well. I know there is no 100% certainty but it does seem unlikely that all of these low percentage things happened at once. As you may remember, another part of this was missing my child goodbye the next day and 3 days later he had a cold sore. So my questions: 
1) Although, that too was not tested so, it could have been a non-herpes related virus causing that? 2) Is it possible that if I have never been infected with HSV that I could have caught something from him when I kissed him goodbye or shared drinks? 3)Would you recommend testing of any kind for myself? Or is that not recommend unless I develop actual sores? 
4) Concerning what HSV sores would look like on the tonsils. Other than being usually painful, what would they look like usually? Would they be clear? White? Would they burst or open like a lip sore? How long would they last without medications? 
5) Isn’t it usually reserved for people with autoimmune issues to develop throat only sores? 
6) And at 12 days post encounter, that is usually not the correct timeframe for initial symptoms but pretty close. Is 12 days enough to sort of breathe a sigh of relief?
7) Could the EXTREME stress and anxiety help to develop these symptoms in a traditional cold / virus sort of way? I feel like people in my situation often develop these symptoms but end up being the result of a weakened immune system from being so stressed. 
Thank you so much Terri! 
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
12 months ago
1) Although, that too was not tested so, it could have been a non-herpes related virus causing that?
Since no swab testing was done on the lesion on your child, that could definitely have been something else.  If it comes back, please insist upon a swab test for him.

2) Is it possible that if I have never been infected with HSV that I could have caught something from him when I kissed him goodbye or shared drinks?
I think that is extremely unlikely. 

3) Would you recommend testing of any kind for myself? Or is that not recommend unless I develop actual sores?
I think you will need antibody testing, yes, and I would recommend the western blot for you.  This is not because you have symptoms that I believe are herpetic, you don't, but you need confirmation about your status.  I think testing right away would have been a good idea to get a baseline.  You could have had HSV 1 since childhood!  You could still get tested now with an IgG test but if positive now, you cannot know if this was very recent or long standing, though the index value might help us sort that out.

4) Concerning what HSV sores would look like on the tonsils. Other than being usually painful, what would they look like usually? Would they be clear? White? Would they burst or open like a lip sore? How long would they last without medications?
I have seen new herpes on the tonsils.  It looks like multiple ulcerated lesions on a red base.

5) Isn’t it usually reserved for people with autoimmune issues to develop throat only sores?
I've only once seen someone with sores only in the throat that tested positive for HSV without any lip lesions.  So very rare inded

6) And at 12 days post encounter, that is usually not the correct timeframe for initial symptoms but pretty close. Is 12 days enough to sort of breathe a sigh of relief?
That is correct

7) Could the EXTREME stress and anxiety help to develop these symptoms in a traditional cold / virus sort of way? I feel like people in my situation often develop these symptoms but end up being the result of a weakened immune system from being so stressed.
Cold symptoms are not herpes symptoms.  People with new herpes don't get stuffy noses, sore throats (most often).  These are symptoms of an upper respiratory virus, not herpes.

Terri
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