Herpes is highly contagious. Since the herpes simplex virus can remain dormant in someone for a longer period, many people are carriers of the virus unknowingly. When oral herpes progresses to the weeping stage, where the blisters rupture and start to ooze the infection is at its peak. Without taking the extra precaution of not sharing personal items and utensils, you can easily pass on the cold sore.
Here are some of the practices to put in place so as to control the spread of the infection:
- Keep off from oral sex
Oral sex involves the exchange of body fluids like saliva. But once infected your saliva contains the virus. Practicing oral sex when you suffer from cold sore will thus spread the herpes simplex virus, HSV-1 to the genitals.
On the other hand, if either of the parties participating in the oral sex suffers from genital herpes, similarly HSV-2 will be transmitted to the other partner’s lips.
- Refrain from kissing
Once the visible signs of oral herpes manifest in you, it’s a sure sign that you have the disease. Therefore kissing someone will pass on the herpes simplex virus.
- Discard your toothbrush
Once you realize that you have a cold sore, it’s advisable to throw away your brush. Remember the virus causing oral herpes enters your body and takes awhile before visualizing the symptoms. Meaning your toothbrush too can contain the virus for even days. Continuing using the same brush will, therefore, see you get re-infected and thus inviting a cycle of fever attacks.
- Stop touching the cold sore s with bare hands
Remember the fluid in the blisters contains herpes simplex virus. Picking at those blisters with naked hands, therefore, puts you at risk. You might even later on unconsciously lick the same fingers or touch other parts of your face and thus pass on the virus. How about greeting someone with the same finger also?
However itchy or painful the blisters are, defy the temptation of scratching, nicking or picking at the cold sore with naked hands. Instead, go for over the counter painkillers before the cold sore disappears in a week or so.
- Use a tissue when you sneeze
Oral herpes causing virus spreads best through body fluids like saliva and mucus. Thus once you have become a cold sore victim, it’s wise to sneeze into a tissue. Blowing or coughing into a tissue will help to curb the virus from reaching the next person. Dispose of the tissue wisely as soon as possible after every use.
- Wash your hands regularly
Ideally, you shouldn’t touch the cold sores. However, at times the itching might heighten, for instance during the crusting stage and then you give in to rubbing or touching the blisters, unknowingly. Washing your hands with soap will thus get rid of the virus in your hands so cutting down on its spread. Similarly after sneezing or coughing clean your hands also.
- Avoid sharing certain items
When you have oral herpes it isn’t wise to share certain items. These items include：
Plates or eating utensils
Truly speaking most of the above-mentioned items might have come into contact with the cold sore or fluid containing the herpes simplex virus. Sharing those items, therefore, provides an easy passage for the virus to reach the next victim.
- Identify then avoid cold sore triggers
Cold sore is highly contagious. If you find yourself getting frequent attacks of the infection, then you have to think deeply about what’s triggering the virus. Usually, several factors like illness or stress can activate the otherwise dormant virus. Take your time and narrow down the cold sores triggers in your case. The less attack you get, the less you expose other people to the virus.
- Stick to a healthy diet
A weak immune system invites frequent cold sores outbreaks. Therefore eating the balanced diet will help to keep your immune system at an optimal level. You should especially eat different kinds of vegetables and fruits to get vitamin C and E. Vitamin C will help to make your white blood cells even stronger thus improving your body’s defensive ability. On the other hand, vitamin E assists the fast healing of scars and also minimizing the skin discomfort as a result of the cold sores.
The best way to stop the spread of the cold sore-causing virus to your self and others is to avoid touching the blisters with bare hands. In addition, avoid sharing the personal items. At the same time wash your hands regularly with soap to keep your hands virus-free. Finally, after healing, stick to the healthy diet and avoid the oral herpes triggers.