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Dr. D. Love
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 18777
Experience:  Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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About a month ago I had contact with someone who I believe

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About a month ago I had contact with someone who I believe had herpes. After contact, I started feeling a tingling sensation on my lips however I never had an outbreak. Other symptoms include having a fever for one night few days after contact along with night sweats. It has been a full month and the tingling has diminished, very slight tingle still remains although no outbreak. I do have tiny little bumps which are not visible although I can feel them at the top right corner of my lip. I've been using cold sore lip medication along with lip balm so not sure if this prevented the outbreaks. Altogether I would like to know if I am contagious at this point? whether I can have physical contact?
Thank you.
Thank you for using JustAnswer. I will be glad to assist you today.

First, it is unlikely that this is herpes. Certainly herpes can have some tingling as symptoms that occur before the sores develop, but it is not typical that the tingling would persist for weeks before the sores develop. Since this has not progressed to develop sores, it is unlikely that this is herpes.

However, the majority of people are have antibodies to the virus that causes oral herpes (HSV1), and many of the people that have antibodies to the virus do not recall ever having had typical symptoms. In many of the people with these antibodies, they can shed the virus at times that there are no sores. Therefore, even though the symptoms that you describe are not indicative of herpes, it is also impossible to say that you are not otherwise infected or that you may be shedding the virus.

Also, this means that people can potentially be exposed to HSV1 whenever they contact other people, and it does not need to be in a sexual context. Since many children are also infected, getting kissed by children at a family gathering also carries some risk. Since the risk of exposure is so pervasive, the usual recommendation is to not worry about it beyond avoidance of contact when obvious sores are present. Since you do not have any obvious sores, then there is no reason for concern or avoidance of contact.

If you have any further questions, please let me know.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hello Dr Love, thank you for your answer and being responsive. I've been researching online and it seems that all the symptoms I have listed are somewhat correlated to having the virus except for the outbreak. If this is now herpes then what else would cause such symptoms.

Thank you,

The symptom is common with herpes, but the persistence of the symptom for a month is not typical.

There are many other possible causes of tingling of the lips, including allergies (particularly food allergies), dental problems (such as infections around a tooth), abnormal blood chemistries (that can affect nerve function), neurologic conditions, or anxiety. It would require a proper evaluation to determine the cause of the tingling sensation.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hello Dr Love, thanks for your response. Do you think it is possible that somehow I have eliminated possibilities of outbreaks by frequently applying cold sore medication? This whole experience has been strange to say the least. The other thing is that the person I had relations with is someone known to 'get around".

Thank you,

Frequent application of cold sore medicine medicines may limit an exacerbation to only be manifested as prodromal symptoms, such as the tingling, but it would not cause the prodromal symptoms to persist for a month.

Since oral herpes can be transmitted in non-sexual contacts, the number of sexual contacts is not as much an issue for oral herpes as for genital herpes.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks for your reply Dr Love. Couple questions please, do you think it is safe to have sexual contact now/? Also what steps would you recommend I take from this point forward to alleviate any lingering concerns? Other than that i am grateful to have received your expert counsel.

it would be safe to have sex.

The next step is to see your primary care physician, who can perform an examination and perform screening blood tests.
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