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Oral Herpes (cont.)

When to Seek Medical Care

When to call the doctor

  • Because the sores are painful, people may have difficulty eating or drinking. To prevent dehydration, people should call their doctor if they cannot eat or drink adequately.
  • If any of these symptoms, which suggest dehydration, occur, medical care should be obtained:
    • A decrease in urination (fewer wet diapers in infants)
    • Drowsiness
    • Irritability
    • Dry mouth
  • Notify a doctor if you are not sure what the oral sores are.
  • If a child is younger than 6 weeks of age, notify a doctor if oral sores appear. Severe infection or disease complications occur more commonly in infants. For instance, besides affecting the mouth, HSV-1 may go to the brain and produce damage.
  • People whose immune systems are weakened should also call their doctor if sores appear. If a person's immune system is weakened, they are more likely to have severe infection or disease complications. Pregnant women need to consult immediately if HSV infection is noticed, especially if they are close to term.

When to go to the hospital

Signs and symptoms of dehydration usually warrant going to a hospital's emergency department. Infants, especially under 6 weeks of age, should see their pediatrician or an emergency center if oral sores appear, or if the infant appears to slow urine output or decrease fluid intake.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/14/2014

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