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Is oral herpes contagious?

Herpes simplex, the virus that causes oral herpes, is contagious. To prevent catching the virus, do not kiss or share personal items with anyone who has a cold sore. If you already have oral herpes, avoid physical contact with anyone until your cold sore goes away.

Yes, the fluid in the blister of oral herpes is the most contagious. After the blister breaks and an ulcer forms, herpes is less contagious. However, caution should always be taken as long as there is an active lesion. 

Continue Learning about Oral Herpes (Cold Sores)

What are cold sores?
American Dental AssociationAmerican Dental Association
Cold sores -- caused by herpes virus Type 1 or Type 2 -- are contagious. The initial infection (...
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What is oral herpes?
Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)
Oral herpes, or cold sores, develop as a result of the herpes simplex virus. Herpes simplex virus ty...
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How long do cold sores last?
Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)
Oral herpes, or cold sores, goes away on its own in about one to two weeks. Taken early, antiviral m...
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Can oral herpes spread to other parts of the body?
Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)
It is possible to spread oral herpes to other parts of the body. Although cold sores tend to develop...
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.