Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Can the herpes virus spread in children?"
I know that a lot of kids get the herpes virus from a kiss on the cheek from their mom or dad, or sharing silverware. Is it possible that this would then cause them to have other genital herpes symptoms?
Understandably, there is a lot of confusion with regards to the similarities and differences between oral and genital herpes. You are correct that oral herpes can be spread through a kiss or sharing of cups and silverware. There are two types of Herpes Simplex Viruses (HSV-1 and HSV-2), the infectious agents responsible for these infections. HSV-1 is the most common virus to cause oral herpes and HSV-2 is the most common one to cause genital herpes, but both can cause either infection. Oral herpes can spread to some other areas of the body the most common of which is the finger (from finger contact with mouth). While it is theoretically possible for oral herpes to spread to the genitals, it is extremely rare outside of oral-genital sexual contact. Almost all cases of genital herpes are spread through sexual contact. If you feel that your child may have a herpetic lesion somewhere on their body, you should schedule an appointment with your child's pediatrician. He or she can take a close look at the lesion and determine what it is. While oral herpes lesions can occur in children, genital lesions should not occur and can be a sign of sexual abuse.
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