[Question #996] Contracting Herpes Virus from objects that came into contact with saliva?

49 months ago
My question is how long does the active herpes simplex virus live on surfaces and can you contract this virus through touching/ using an object that has come in contact with a cold sore and/or saliva? For example: touching used dishes (putting guest dishes in sink), touching a door handle after someone else coughed into their hand then opened it, using a remote a child stuck in there mouth, using sink after some brushed their teeth, grochery clerk blowing into the bag then putting objects into it, someone blowing out candles on cake (spraying the cake with saliva), Child grabbing your arm after having stuck their fingers in their mouth, toilet seats, kissing an animal on the head someone else kissed 5 minutes eariler, using someone elses pillow, etc. 
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
49 months ago
None of the things you describe above are ways for herpes virus to be transmitted to another person.  Oral herpes can be transmitted by kissing someone who has oral infection - deep and passionate kissing with or without symptoms and to a child from an adult who as an active obvious cold sore, in the way an adult would properly kiss a child.  Genital herpes is transmitted via sexual contact and/or sex toys that are actively being used between two people.  We also suggest that people have their own towels though there are no known cases of herpes being transmitted via towels.  Does that help?

Terri
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49 months ago
Yes thank you so much for your help. Just to clarify even if i come into contact with saliva outside the body it is not a viable way to contract the virus?
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
49 months ago
The way in which saliva could infect you is if there was directly mouth to mouth or mouth to genital contact.  Saliva in other ways away from the body would not be a risk  - it is present in saliva, away from skin or mucous membrane, in such small quantities that it would likely take a quart of it to have enough to be infectious.
Terri
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