Contagious: Cold sores


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About contagion: Contagion and contagiousness refers to how easily the spread of Cold sores is possible from one person to another. Other words for contagion include "infection", "infectiousness", "transmission" or "transmissability". Contagiousness has nothing to do with genetics or inheriting diseases from parents. For an overview of contagion, see Introduction to Contagion.

Contagion summary: Spread by physical contact (e.g. kissing)


Contagiousness properties of Cold sores:
  Contagious by physical contact (non-sexual)?: Yes
  Contagious from kissing?: Yes
  Contagious from saliva?: Yes

Contagion summary: A person can get HSV-1 by coming into contact with the saliva of an infected person. HSV-1 infection of the genitals almost always is caused by oral-genital sexual contact with a person who has the oral HSV-1 infection. 1

Footnotes:
1. excerpt from Genital Herpes: DSTD

Last revision: April 9, 2003

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