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Q: cold sore question ( Answered 4 out of 5 stars,   3 Comments )
Subject: cold sore question
Category: Health > Conditions and Diseases
Asked by: jsleon-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 06 Mar 2006 05:11 PST
Expires: 05 Apr 2006 06:11 PDT
Question ID: 704160
can you get a cold sore by kissing someone who does not have one, but
gets them?  if so how much time would it take for you to know if you
have been infected?
Subject: Re: cold sore question
Answered By: siliconsamurai-ga on 06 Mar 2006 08:33 PST
Rated:4 out of 5 stars
Hi, thank you for submitting your question to Google Answers, I think
I can provide the information you are probably seeking as well as
simply answering your actual questions.

I think it is most important to point out right from the start that
cold or fever sores (because an outbreak can be triggeredby another
infection) are NOT the same thing as canker sores.

Canker sores are those ulcers which occur on the soft tissue inside your mouth.

The great news is that canker sores are NOT infectious at all ? never, no way.

The simple rule of thumb is this ? if only you know you have one, then
it is a canker sore. If everyone can see it, then it is a cold sore.

Cold sores occur mostly on the lips and nostrils. They are a virus
infection which exists in cells and occasionally break out for various

The specific infectious agent is usually herpes simplex type 1. The
BIG herpes is type 2.

The short answer to your question is, no, you almost certainly can?t
catch the infection by kissing someone who gets cold sores as long as
they don?t have a moist blister.

Since you can easily see the cold sore, this is actually very easy to
control and shouldn't be a major cause of concern.

The general prevention rules are about the same as those which apply
to avoiding the flu ? wash hands often, don?t touch other parts of
your body if there is a possibility of conveying the virus.

The second part of your question is actually moot since medical
opinion indicates that you can?t catch the virus unless the infected
person has an active breakout.

But I?ll try to answer it anyway of course.

Symptoms can start in 10 days but may take almost a month for the
first blister to form after initial infection.

Duration is about one week and, since this is a viral infection, there
is little you can do about it other than wait it out. Various creams,
including over the counter creams do make the blister less painful,
but they don?t speed the healing process ? your body just has to
overcome the infection.

Stress, sun exposure, other infections, and such can trigger outbreaks. 

Thank you again for turning to Google Answers for your research needs,
I feel this completely answers your question.

Google search string

Mayo clinic cold sore
jsleon-ga rated this answer:4 out of 5 stars
thanks for the help

Subject: Re: cold sore question
From: needsomeinfo-ga on 07 Mar 2006 19:11 PST
Nothing personal, but this answer is wrong.  You can catch cold sores
at other times than with a "moist blister."  See below from

How is the cold sore virus spread?

If a person has an active cold sore on their lip the virus particles
can be transferred to any part of the body that they kiss, including
the mouth, face or the genitals.

Keeping this in mind, it is very important to avoid kissing and oral
sex during an active bout of cold sores.

It should also be made aware that the virus is considered to be
contagious from the very first sign of an outbreak (including the
tingling, itching stage) until the area is completely healed again.

It is important to take precautions during an active cold sore
outbreak to prevent the virus from spreading. Treatments such as
Choraphor and Zovirax can help to shorten the duration of the outbreak

Herpes and cold sores are most easily spread when a sore is present,
but, the virus can also be spread at other times too. Some people
notice itching, tingling or other sensations before they see anything
on their skin.

These are called "Prodromal Symptoms" and they warn that the virus may
be present on the skin. Herpes is most likely to be spread from the
time these first symptoms are noticed until the area is completely
healed and the skin looks normal again.

Contact with the infected area (including oral sex, kissing and touch)
is very risky during this time.

It is also possible to transmit virus particles to another person
through intermediate objects such as a drinking glass, eating utensil,
lip stick, lip gloss, toothbrush, or even a face cloth.

So if someone is in the "tingling" phase and even if you chare
chapstick, it can be contageous.

Also about 80% of the population has been exposed to the Herpes 2
virus.  In many people it remains dormant.  So theoretically, you
could be exposed and have the dormant virus for years and years before
the virus becomes active.
Subject: Re: cold sore question
From: siliconsamurai-ga on 02 Apr 2006 06:59 PDT
Needsomeinfo - thanks, but I think I'll stick to getting my medical
information from places such as The Mayo Clinic.

You seem to have ignored the "almost certainly" portion of my answer also.
Subject: Re: cold sore question
From: lupuswolf-ga on 05 Nov 2006 14:14 PST
If you won't take his advice, which is true by the way and you are
infected you will be putting others at risk, 9 out of 10 people with
herpes simplex 1 do not have cold sores, but still shed and are
infectious during this time, it is transmitted by the sores and saliva
and lives in your spinal fluid...


Lets also mention that the Mayo Clinic is not ran by any government
body, they are a non-profit charity...


"How the virus is transmitted...
The herpes simplex virus spreads between people, usually through
contact with saliva or direct contact with a blister. The most
infectious time is in the first few days when the blister is forming.
Sometimes, people can pass the virus to others when they have no
symptoms. This is because the virus may be lying dormant in the skin
cells of the lips. "

Quoted From "Better Health - Part of the Australian Government Health Institute"

"Sometimes, the virus can become active but not cause any visible
sores or any symptoms. During these times, small amounts of the virus
may be shed at or near places of the first infection, in fluids from
the mouth, penis, or vagina, or from barely noticeable sores. This is
called asymptomatic (without symptoms) shedding. Even though you are
not aware of the shedding, you can infect a sexual partner during this
time. Asymptomatic shedding is an important factor in the spread of

Quoted From "The US Department of Health -  National Institute of
Allergy and Infectious Deseases"

"People may have no symptoms at all, but they can still pass on the
hepatitis virus to others. Symptoms may include:"

Quoted From "AVERT is an international AIDS charity"

"People who experience recurrent symptoms may also occasionally shed
virus asymptomatically between recurrences. This is more likely in the
week before and the week after a recurrence."

Quoted From "Herpes Viruses Association - UK"

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