Shedding of herpesvirus by adults with herpes labialis and survival of the virus in the environment were examined. In nine adults with virus-positive herpes labialis, herpesvirus was detected in the anterior oral pool of seven (78%) and on the hands of six (67%). Herpesviruses isolated from patients with oral lesions were found to survive for as long as two hours on skin, three hours on cloth, and four hours on plastic. These findings support earlier recommendations for the protection of neonates from adults with "fever blisters." In addition, environmental surfaces may be a source of transmission of herpesvirus to the neonate.
- Received July 13, 1981.
- Accepted December 22, 1981.
- Copyright © 1982 by the American Academy of Pediatrics