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Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 11946
Experience:  U.S. Physician/Surgeon in Neurosurgery
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How long does the HSV 1 virus live on inanimate objects

Customer Question

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Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 8 years ago.
According to the sources, the herpes simplex virus does not have a long lifespan outside the body.

10 seconds in a dry conditions, and slightly longer (up to a few hours) in warm, damp conditions.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I have a scenario for you. I wore shoes for the first time the other day that rubbed blisters on my feet. I used a safety pin to drain the blisters because they were so big. After doing so I remembered that I may have used that safety pin in the past to drain a blister on my lip caused by HSV 1. If it was actually used for this, it would have been a long time ago. Is there any risk of contaminating myself in another area other than my mouth with the HSV 1 virus by doing what I just explained to you?
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 8 years ago.

Nearly every virus would not have been able to survive such a long time outside the body, and most would not survive a period of hours outside the body.

You are at practically zero risk from the scenario you described.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Under what circumstances would the outcome be different in that situation? I am somewhat of a germophobe and I am constantly worrying myself to death about things like this.
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 8 years ago.
The time difference between popping the lesion in your mouth and then your foot. You would have had to do that within a matter of seconds for that to happen.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Practically zero risk means what?
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 8 years ago.
It means zero.