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Seniors In Assisted Living Communities Learn Ways To Stop Spread Of Germs

Most people are diligent about protecting themselves from the flu and colds. Good manners alone account for the majority of people who automatically cover their mouths when they sneeze, wash their hands afterward and scrub up after touching people and surfaces in public places. Fewer probably realize that contacting herpes simplex virus, the medical term for the common cold sore, is also possible by touching contaminated surfaces. Cold sores, sometimes called fever blisters, are groups of small blisters on the lip and around the mouth. This virus type can cause lip and mouth sores and genital herpes. The herpes simplex virus usually enters the body through a break in the skin around or inside the mouth.

It is most often spread when a person touches a cold sore or touches infected fluid when sharing eating utensils or razors, kissing an infected person, or coming in contact with that person’s saliva. Cold sores can also be spread to areas of the body other than the mouth and lip area. Seniors who reside in group environments such as assisted living centers are counseled by the healthcare staff on what to expect, especially during cold and flu season, and are given pointers on how to avoid spreading germs.The first symptoms of cold sores may include tingling and pain around the mouth and lips, a fever, a sore throat, or swollen glands in the neck or other parts of the body. Small children sometimes drool before cold sores appear. After the blisters appear, the cold sore usually breaks open, leaks a clear fluid and then crusts over and disappears after several days to 2 weeks. For some people, cold sores can be very painful. A few people who have the virus do not have an actual cold sore outbreak.

Bacteria by *alphamonkey on deviantART

How are cold sores diagnosed?
A doctor can tell if you have cold sores by asking questions to find out whether you have come into contact with the virus and by examining you. Most of the time diagnosing a herpes simplex virus does not require testing.
How are cold sores treated?
Cold sores will usually start to heal on their own within a few days. If they cause pain or embarrassment because of their unsightly appearance, they can be treated. Treatment may include skin creams, ointments, or sometimes pills. Using these methods may get rid of the cold sore, but frequently only 1 to 2 days faster, but it will help ease painful blisters or other uncomfortable symptoms. The herpes simplex virus that causes cold sores cannot be cured. After becoming infected, the virus stays in the body for the rest of your life. If cold sores occur often, medication can reduce the number and severity.
How can cold sores be prevented?
There are some things that can be done to prevent contracting the herpes simplex virus.
Avoid coming into contact with infected body fluids by kissing or touching an infected person.
Avoid sharing eating utensils, drinking cups, or other items that a person with a cold sore may have used.

After having been infected with the virus, there is no sure way to prevent future cold sores. There are a few things that can be done to reduce the number of outbreaks and prevent spreading the virus. Try to avoid the things that trigger cold sores, such as stress and colds or the flu. Always use lip balm and sunscreen on your face when outdoors. Too much sunlight can cause cold sores to flare. Avoid sharing towels, razors, silverware, toothbrushes or other objects that a person with a cold sore may have used. Make sure to wash hands often, and try to avoid touching the sore. This can help keep from spreading the virus to the eyes or genital area or to other people. Talk to a doctor if there are frequent outbreaks. Sometimes prescription medication is used to prevent further outbreaks.

800Seniors.com is a leading referral system in the Elderly Healthcare industry. We are located on 5400 Atlantis Court, Moorpark, California 93021. 800Seniors.com provides the perfect match between seniors searching for health care provisions such as Home Care, Home Health, Skilled Nursing, Hospice Care, Medical Supplies, as well as a variety of Assisted Living Chicago and Care Homes nationwide. Take the confusion and hassle out of the search. For more information call 1-800-768-8221, visit http://800seniors.com or fax us your details at (805)517-1623.

About The Author: Gloria Ha’o Schneider is an expert in senior citizen and baby boomer issues. Her topics revolve around Senior Living and Healthcare to provide the latest information to this demographic as well as their families and loved ones.

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