Is Herpes Only Contagious When you have Sores?

Dear Dr. Tom:

My name is CC, and I am diagnoised
with oral herpes virus. I was wondering if you can answer this question
for me. I read up on herpes and that it is only contagious when you
have the sores on your mouth and I also called a herpes hotline and
they said it is only contagious when the sores are on your mouth and
I want to know so I won?t spread this virus to anyone. I was also on
the herpes chat room, and people who had it for years, they say you
can still spread it. I want to know for sure before it is too late.
Thank you for taking the time out to read this and if you can?t answer
this question please find someone who can because this is verry important
to me.

Sincerely, CC

Dr. Tom’s Response:

Dear CC:

Current data about oral herpes reports
you CAN transmit the virus even though no symptoms are evident.

This means that the virus is capable of
escaping from the ganglion cells where it has resided after its initial
infection. Ganglia are nerve cells close to the spinal cord. Some of
the viruses have emerged from the ganglia and impose upon cells of
the epithelium and the mucosa. These are shedding viruses. The symptoms
do not show or are subclinical conditions, and the host manifests no
apparent signs of sores or blisters. On this subject , the people from
the herpes chat room have the accurate information.


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