A service provided by the BC Centre for Disease Control
If I get cold sore HSV 1 does this mean that my children will carry the HSV 1 virus when they are born?

Hi,

Thanks for your question.

The short answer is: No.

Cold sores are not inherited, but passed through direct skin-to-skin contact.

Having a cold sore does not mean you have genital herpes. Genital herpes can be passed to children if the mother has a genital outbreak during childbirth.

Cold sores can be passed to your child if someone with an active cold sore kisses (or has mouth-to-skin) contact with your child.

Herpes in childhood is very common, and not a serious condition.

For more information about HSV and cold sores check out our Herpes – Patient Guide.

Health Nurse

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