Found Cold Sore Cream in Housemate's Bathroom - I'm Worried

Calling on all amateur and professional OzBargain doctors here!

The issue at hand: In true OzBargain fashion, my wife and I recently rented out our spare bedroom. We thought it might be a good way to help with the mortgage and we've both lived in houseshare/flatshare arrangements before. The tenant is totally lovely and we have no issues with her as a housemate. However, while cleaning out her bathroom over the weekend (We have our own ensuite and do not share a bathroom) I noticed a box of cold sore cream on the sink.

A bit of research online suggests that she either carries the herpes simplex virus (HSV), or the more serious genital herpes. Some literature seem to suggest that HSV it is highly contagious, particularly during a breakout, while others think its not an issue and the only real way to catch it is through intimate contact. Either way, once you contract herpes, there is no way to treat it which is our main concern here.

I'm in bit of a dilemma. We like her as a person, but we are really worried about infection, especially since we are planning on having a baby in the near future. The major issue is that we do share a kitchen and washing machine and I just want to know what are the likelihoods of contracting the virus. And given that it is a rather sensitive topic, how would I even be able to bring it up with her if I feel the need to?

It's time like these that I wish there were tiny little bikiettes you can hire to solve all our hygiene issues.

EDIT: Thanks for everyone's reponse. Just want to clarify, since many of you seemed to think that I entered the bathroom without permsssion and getting into her private business. We've discussed beforehand that I will occasionally clean the bathrooms and she has no problem with that. Also she left the cream out in the open and Was pretty hard to miss. Shes made no attempt to hide it meaning probably means she doesn't think it's a big deal which seemed to be consistent with the majority of the people here

Comments

  • +279 votes

    wtf? Did she discover your pills for brain damage when she was snooping through your bathroom too?

  • +58 votes

    From the title I thought you were concerned about living with someone who owned a Subaru WRX Sti…

  • +127 votes

    Unless you and/or your partner plan on having sex with her I think you both will be fine

    • +38 votes

      Might be too late already? ;)

      • +77 votes

        Hence the fishing for "alternative contraction methods" for when the evidence finally "comes to the surface"…

        How I read the whole story… (or how the TL;DR should have read…)

        I made out with my flatmate and now I've noticed that they have cold sore medication. I'm shitting bricks here because how do I explain it to my wife how I got cold sores if it wasn't from intimate contact…

    • +1 vote

      Lol

  • +9 votes

    Maybe keep doing some more research.

  • +21 votes

    She hot? Send pics plz

  • +78 votes

    OMFG… Have you or your wife never had a cold sore in your life!?

    Its like the most common 'STI' as you put it in the world! This cream is over the counter stuff. You'll be ok.

    OP have a read here https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtrea...

    Around 90 per cent of adults have herpes simplex antibodies in their bloodstream, which means that they have been infected with the virus at some time

    Let that sink in OP…. 90% of the world's adults you should avoiding having contact with!

    • -36 votes

      Nope, we've never had a cold sore

      • +20 votes

        Lol OP the mouth cold spre herpes (cant remember the name) is so common almost every person has it in them dormant. Just some unlucky buggers seem to breakout.

        • +1 vote

          Yes, I have never had a coldsore, but all my family gets them. There's no way I went through my whole childhood without contracting it from my immediate family - so it must just be dormant in me.

          Edit: also forgot, I have had blood transfusions, so there's pretty much zero chance I haven't got it.

        • +3 votes

          @macrocephalic:

          Maybe you're the carrier and you gave it to all of them…

      • +3 votes

        well OP, welcome to the 10% that haven't one.

      • +22 votes

        You probably still have HSV1
        Many people that have HSV1 never get cold sores and never experience any symptoms

      • -3 votes

        lol oh no, all the cold-sorey people negging the OP.

      • +9 votes

        I've never had a coldsore, but it'd be pretty arrogant and completely unfounded of me to say I don't have HSV1. As most humans do.

      •  

        Read the statistics on HSV infection rates by age 40 and you'll understand why i call bullshit

      •  

        People get the randomly on their lips. When I was a kid I would get some semi frequently (maybe once or twice a year), and I get them very rarely now. It runs in the family. It is a normal thing to get cold sores on your lips. And you get standard cream to fix it. Dont freak out man haha

      • +3 votes

        Clearly you have steered clear of evil vaccinations and made sure not to drink any tapwater. Stay away from chemtrails and I am sure those coldsores won't sneak into your bedroom at night and nibble on your genitals.

    • +4 votes

      Let that sink in OP…. 90% of the world's adults you should avoiding having contact with!

      Well that settles it, I'm never going outside without my HAZMAT suit again! 😷

    •  

      I worry about this too. I request a HSV test everytime I get a check up, in the 10-20% of population that doesn't have it.
      It's also known as the kissing disease. If you don't kiss her, or share drinks with her whilst she has a cold sore, you'll be fine.

    • +3 votes

      If you call kissing, sex, then STI is correct. Seriously, it's not transmitted only Sexually. A simple kiss will do.
      So one can have Herpes Simplex without EVER having had sex.

  • +33 votes

    OK serious response here:

    HSV is spread by contact with the virus contained within the lesions (fluid/surface of lesion). Most people have been exposed to HSV in their lifetimes - not all get symptoms. Depending on individual cases, people either get cold sores (lesions around the mouth) or genital herpes. It used to be that HSV-1 = cold sores and HSV-2 = genital herpes but with sexual practices over the years, things get a bit mixed up. Cold sores often get passed on from parent to child - so just because someone has cold sores means nothing about their sexual practices.

    But essentially unless you're kissing / directly touching / engaging in other physical contact with the case, you're very unlikely to catch HSV from them. Theoretically of course if they decided to touch their cold sore, then shake your hand, then you touch your own mouth - you may very well get cold sores. Also, Cold sore cream is almost always used for cold sores (they will work for genital herpes - but you need to apply 5 times a day). I prescribe people tablets for genital herpes instead.

    • +10 votes

      The OP assumes they don't have HSV already. 90% of the world's adults has it, there is an excellent chance the OP has it already.

      Maybe they gave it to them instead!?

    • +6 votes

      Maybe it isn't as bad as I thought. I mean she just had it on the sink wasn't like she was trying to hide it, and most people on here seemed to think it isn't a big deal

    • +1 vote

      Doc here as well. You using antivirals like valacyclovir? From my readings, it's not particularly effective.

  • +1 vote

    over 80% of people have a form of HPV at some time in their life, in most people it doesn't really manifest as any serious other than occasional cold sores. Many people will have no symptoms at all.
    Statistically speaking you or your partner have a form of herpes too.

  • +4 votes

    8/10 adults have HSV 1 / cold sores so I wouldn't be looking at your flat mate as some kind of leper on that basis. Like most adults she probably only gets them a couple times per year

    But HSV 1 can be deadly to babies - given so much of the adult population has it, seriously don't let just anyone kiss your baby.

    No chance of catching HSV 2 / genital herpes unless you are intimate with her, would require skin to skin contact with her genitals.

  • +44 votes

    Don't listen to anyone that tells you that herpes is common and that 90%+ of human beings have it!

    THAT'S FAKE NEWS!

    YOUR ONLY OPTION IS TO BURN DOWN YOUR HOUSE!

    DO IT! DO IT NOW! BEFORE IT'S TOO LAAAAAATE

  • +2 votes

    Next GP visit, ask them for their professional opinion?

    • +2 votes

      Next visit… first thing in the morning when they open, or else, it might be too late.

    • +2 votes

      OP might end up on psychiatric hold for being a pants on head potato though.

  • +32 votes

    I feel sorry for your tenant and future baby having hypochondriac parents.

  • +1 vote

    OP reminds me of the time I thought I had aids…

  • +7 votes

    You both probably already have HSV, you've just never had any symptoms.

    In reality, if you don't have it, you're the weird ones!

    HSV1 is so common that the Red Cross takes blood from people with it, and give said blood to people without it.

    • -3 votes

      the Red Cross takes blood from people with it, and give said blood to people without it.

      Just like they used to do with HIV.

      •  

        … Wow.

        •  

          "Wow" about what?

          HIV has been confirmed as present in a sample taken in 1959 from DR Congo and it appeared in the Unites States around 19691.

          The AIDS epidemic officially began on 5/06/19812.

          The Red Cross only began testing new donations for HIV on 3/03/19853.

          And there have been numerous cases reported since then.


          1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_early_HIV/AIDS_cases 

          2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_HIV/AIDS 

          3. http://www.redcrossblood.org/learn-about-blood/blood-transfusions/history-blood-transfusions 

        • -3 votes

          @Scrooge McDuck: Sorry wat??? How does what you're saying even remotely relate to OP's question in any way?

          Are you asserting that because HSV may be present in donated blood, HIV is also? Are you asserting that years into the future, we'll all come to our senses and realise how wrong we were to donate HSV-infected blood? I'm just not really sure - thus the wow considering the subject matter you're discussing.

          Perhaps you should stick to your knitting as an internet lawyer… Please don't reply, thankyou and god bless

        • +2 votes

          @jackary:

          How does what you're saying even remotely relate to OP's question in any way?

          If you look closely, you'll see that I replied to Drew22 not the OP.

          Are you asserting that because HSV may be present in donated blood, HIV is also?

          No, I'm asserting that it was. Obviously, it has since been found to be very iatrogenic.

          Are you asserting that years into the future, we'll all come to our senses and realise how wrong we were to donate HSV-infected blood?

          My response was tongue-in-cheek, but that is a remote possibility I wanted to highlight because I think it's worth considering from a historical standpoint. Hence the HIV analogy.

          I'm just not really sure - thus the wow considering the subject matter you're discussing.

          I've never been one to shy away from facetiousness. Thank you for your eloquent explanation. :)

          Perhaps you should stick to your knitting as an internet lawyer…

          I love how snarky OzBargain has become lately. /s

          Please don't reply, thankyou and god bless

          May the force be with you.

        • -2 votes

          @Scrooge McDuck: It is not a remote possibility.
          As I originally pointed out please stick to what you know. Goodbye

        • +2 votes

          @jackary:

          Goodbye

          👋

        • -1 vote

          @Scrooge McDuck: Your rather pathetic need to have the last word kinda sums it up. I'd wave back, but my wave would include less fingers

        • +1 vote

          @jackary:

          Your rather pathetic need to have the last word kinda sums it up.

          Pot, meet kettle.

          BTW, emojis aren't words.

  1. Burnertoasty on 11/09/2017 - 20:29
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