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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sex Basics and Sexual Health » virus lifespan

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Author Topic: virus lifespan
MissSmarty
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This may sound silly, but I don't understand how skin to skin viruses work. I would like to start off by saying this isn't something that I am super worried about or losing sleep over, just something I don't understand.

I know there are others, but the only one I can think of is HPV. Does the HPV die when it doesn't have skin to live on? For example, When someone with the type of HPV that causes cervical cancer or any of them for that matter gets out of the shower and drys themself with a towel, does the virus transfer to the towel and live there? If so would it survive very long?

I also wondered this about the common cold. Why is it okay to keep using the same toothbrush when you get over a cold. I have done this before and not gotten sick again. Is it that the virus dies, or does your body just get used to it?

Sorry if these seem like dumb questions. If anyone has any insight please share! Thanks =)

Posts: 118 | From: Texas | Registered: Apr 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Leabug
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Most germs die in about 2-3 hours if they're on a hard, dry surface. They can survive substantially longer, though if they're on a warm, moist surface, such as a wet towel or toothbrush, so you actually ARE supposed to wash your linens/towels and get a new toothbrush after being sick, as your chances of getting sick again then increase. The actual amount of time any given virus or bacteria can survive outside a body really does vary depending on the organism and the surface- so it can be anytime between less than a minute to 2 days.

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Lea

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Gwaihir
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really? I didn't know you were supposed to change your toothbrush and such after being sick. I never do and nothing bad has ever happened to me. With the common cold at least, you can never get the same cold twice, because when your body fights off the disease it "remembers" it and produces the antibodies for it so you don't get sick with it again. . it's just that common cold strains multiply and mutate so fast new ones pop up each year, which is why people get colds a lot.
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Leabug
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My dentist has always told me it's best to get a new one after being sick- toothbrushes can harbor a LOT of bacteria, and you really don't want to introduce something new to your body after being sick and having a somewhat compromised immune system, nor do you want whatever caused your illness to breed all over your toothbrush, right? [Smile] I've never actually gotten sick again either, but it always made sense to me anyway. You're supposed to replace them every 3 months anyway, so I figure, they're cheap- why not replace it after sickness?

(And Gwaihir, you're right about the cold- but think about this: many families have toothbrush holders that hold several toothbrushes, and if one toothbrush infected with a cold touches the others...? What then, right? It's also a good practise to prevent transmission of illnesses.)

[ 03-07-2007, 10:41 PM: Message edited by: leabug ]

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Lea

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MissSmarty
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quote:
Originally posted by Gwaihir:
really? I didn't know you were supposed to change your toothbrush and such after being sick. I never do and nothing bad has ever happened to me. With the common cold at least, you can never get the same cold twice, because when your body fights off the disease it "remembers" it and produces the antibodies for it so you don't get sick with it again. . it's just that common cold strains multiply and mutate so fast new ones pop up each year, which is why people get colds a lot.


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MissSmarty
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quote:
Originally posted by Gwaihir:
really? I didn't know you were supposed to change your toothbrush and such after being sick. I never do and nothing bad has ever happened to me. With the common cold at least, you can never get the same cold twice, because when your body fights off the disease it "remembers" it and produces the antibodies for it so you don't get sick with it again. . it's just that common cold strains multiply and mutate so fast new ones pop up each year, which is why people get colds a lot.

That is really interesting! I didn't realize there were that many types of colds. Lately I have been wanting to take those science classes all over again.

It sounds like some people change the toothbrush and some do. I just got over a cold and I am hesitant to change mine because it is a SoniCare. The replacement heads come in packs of two for like 26 bucks [Confused] I think I may pour some boiling water over it's head.

Thank you for the replys - good stuff. [Smile]

Posts: 118 | From: Texas | Registered: Apr 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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