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Newly Diagnosed with Whitlow for Primary OB


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I was just diagnosed (swabbed) with whitlow (HSV-1) after finger to genital contact with a female who has never had an outbreak (allegedly). From what I have read, this is an extremely rare way to contract the virus and I have a few questions I was hoping someone could answer for me....

1) How long will I know if I autoinoculated another part of my body? My initial signs of OB occurred 9-10 days after contact. I popped the blister not knowing what it was, washed it immediately, and began applying antibiotic with another finger.

2) Do anti-virals lower the chances of autoinoculation? I was prescribed Valtrex.

3) I've been applying topical acne cream with rubber gloves to dry out the blisters and covering it while I'm at work and while I'm sleeping. Can anyone recommend anything else or why I should or should not do this?

4) How rare is it to contract the virus like this? Is there reason to believe that there could be something wrong with my immune system.

5) How likely is it that I could have spread the virus to another person before the initial blister formed on my finger?

Thank you in advance.

Edited by Camp3535
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It is important that you get a blood test immediately to understand your antibody status for HSV-1!

Where exactly was the blister? Have you ever had oral cold sores?

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The blister was on the top of my finger, near the nail. I have never had cold sores in the past. What is the purpose in testing for antibodies if I know I just contracted the virus and probably don't have any?

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Because if you have antibodies then the chance of a contamination from an oral infection is very high. This is more likely than being infected from fingering a female with genital HSV-1 (and there is no evidence that she actually has genital HSV-1)!!!

A woman who has genital HSV-1 will have had an outbreak, often a damn painful one.

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I will look into getting blood work done ASAP but I don't believe it is a coincidence that I'm having my first OB on the only finger that came in contact with her vagina, 10 days after contact. She does not believe it is a coincidence either. 

Can you provide any advice on the rest? I'm worried about having given it to my nephews and/or autoinoculation to my face prior to my OB.

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I would recommend wearing gloves when you sleep to lower the risk of spreading it by unknowningly touching other parts of your body while your out, like rubbing your eyes or something.

Also I'm not sure you can asymptomaticlly shed from the hand region given the skin is fairly thick there so you should definitely get that clarified.


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It will not shed if there is no sore. Just bandage over the sore while present and you will not spread it.

What??? 10 days after contact, then if HSV it is more likely to have been caused by something else!!! What work do you do? What sports do you play?

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  • 2 weeks later...
On February 3, 2016 at 4:50 PM, WilsoInAus said:

Yes it is pretty late, late enough to question whether she is the source. Get the blood test pronto!

Just got my blood test results... The doctor said that I did just contract the virus but did not have the antibody levels to give to me. My OB has scabbed over by now but I've broken out in a rash on my feet, hands, and elbows after finishing the antiviral prescription. Any idea if this is related to contracting the virus?

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