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August 24, 1984

Transmission of Herpes Simplex-Reply

Author Affiliations

Bethesda, Md

JAMA. 1984;252(8):1011. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03350080016012

In Reply.—  The letter written by Drs Pazin and Harger is interesting, but it fails to deal with the facts and conclusions given in our article. The facts are that several clusters of genital herpes cases were reported in the Washington, DC, area in which the only known common exposures were at spas. Also, our studies showed that while herpes did not survive in spa water, it remained at high titers for several hours on plastic surfaces under conditions such as those found in spas and also survived for 15 minutes in tap water. From this we concluded that "fomites such as these may be nonvenereal routes of HSV transmission." We would like to respond to the two points raised in the letter.First, the authors of the letter state that they have never heard of a case of nonsexual spread of herpes, and, thus, they conclude it must be

Linnemann CC Jr, Buchman TG, Light IJ, et al:  Transmission of herpes-simplex virus type 1 in a nursery for the newborn: Identification of viral isolates by DNA 'fingerprinting .'  Lancet 1978;1:964-966.Crossref
Halperin SA, Hendley JO, Nosal C, et al:  DNA fingerprinting in investigation of apparent nosocomial acquisition of neonatal herpes simplex .  Pediatrics 1980; 97:91-93.Crossref