BYOB next time you've got a cold sore, please
April 26, 2006 10:09 AM   Subscribe

What is the lifespan of herpes simplex 1 on a coffee mug?

And do I need to sterilize the thing every time she comes over, or can I just relax and do the washing up normally?
posted by xanthippe to Health & Fitness (7 answers total)
All I've ever heard is that the virus doesn't live "very long" outside the human body, I would assume that means possibly a couple of hours, if that Regular soap and water washing is effective, no sanitation necessary. IANAD but I work in the STD field.
posted by tristeza at 10:53 AM on April 26, 2006

Um... The query: if someone has an obvious viral infection on their mouth, do I need to be concerned about it being transferred to me (not previously infected) upon later usage of the same vessel, and if so, how is this prevented?

It seems the title of my question has offended; apologies. I was simply amused by the situation, and mainly wondering if I'm being paranoid. Displaying lack of sympathy for or intolerance of a friend's (contagious) medical condition wasn't my intention - thus I posted the question here after other enquiries yielded contradictory results, rather than making her feel awkward by ever bringing it up.
posted by xanthippe at 10:55 AM on April 26, 2006

Sans preview: thanks for the more helpful responses.
posted by xanthippe at 10:56 AM on April 26, 2006

Normal soap-and-water washing up will kill the virus.

Rentalkarma: Please note the entire text of the question. Xanthippe didn't suggest not washing at all. Sterilization is more than just washing.
posted by desuetude at 10:57 AM on April 26, 2006

Washing up normally (i. e. hot, soapy water) should do the trick. Typically, direct contact is necessary for infection by an HSV so just avoid kissing her or coming into contact with fluids from the sore. If you do want to sterilize it, a little dab of 40-proof vodka or stronger should do the trick as would something like Fantastik (or any other quartenary ammonia salt) or bleach.

Also, you probably already have an HSV-1 infection and are just asymptomatic (like about every other person on this planet) so I wouldn't worry too much about getting it from your friend.

IAAHV = I am a herpes virologist (or at least a newly budding one).
posted by The Bishop of Turkey at 3:27 PM on April 26, 2006

You probably mean 80-proof vodka (40% alcohol).
posted by pnh at 4:25 PM on April 26, 2006

Yeah, oops. I did mean 80 proof (damn you preview and afternoon seminar!). Of course Everclear would be better, as that is the closest you are going to get to what we use in the lab, but if I remember my rusty microbiology anywhere from 35% to 70% ethanol will disinfect.
posted by The Bishop of Turkey at 5:25 PM on April 26, 2006

« Older Seriously, who wants to shell out $350 for a new...   |   Chernobyl photographer Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.