Is Molluscum Contagious?

Is It Contagious?

Is Molluscum Contagiosum Contagious?

Molluscum Contagiosum VirusThe answer to this question is a definite yes just as its name suggests. It is highly contagious and can be passed on easily, usually from another infected person, who may or may not show symptoms. Another word you may come across in your research is communicable. Thankfully, most humans have a resistance to the virus and do not develop molluscum contagiosum virus even if they have come into contact with the virus.

Quick Facts

Molluscum Contagiosum

  • is highly contagious through skin to skin contact or contact with contaminated objects.
  • can easily spread over the sufferer’s own body.
  • does not remain dormant in the body…when it’s gone, it’s gone.
  • may occur again if a person is reinfected.

Molluscum Contagiosum VirusGrab a Cuppa

for more of the science bit. The molluscum contagiosum virus is not airborne like a flu virus but requires actual, direct skin contact of some kind. Transmission of the virus may happen in any number of ways such as person to person, skin to skin contact, for example touching, hugging, bare skin interaction contact sports (especially wrestling) and sexual relations (not restricted to intercourse). It may also be passed on by handling objects that have been contaminated by the virus. Contaminated objects are known as fomites. Fomites are inanimate objects contaminated with infectious organisms which help to transmit the infection. For example, sharing towels, bedclothes or clothing, bath water, toys (especially soft toys), shaving equipment, sponges, play clothes, costumes, doorknobs, faucet handles, combs, hairbrushes and other personal items, including very personal items such as sex toys. Gymnasts and wrestlers may pick up the virus from infected mats. The virus can pass in gyms, saunas or by the handling of contaminated exercise equipment. The molluscum virus is commonly passed on at schools and nurseries. Health authorities in the USA and UK regard the molluscum contagiosum virus as a common infection and do not generally advise keeping infected children away from school as most humans are immune. And, as the infection usually lasts for 12-18 months, it would not be wise, practical or necessary to keep a child away from school or nursery for such a length of time. Molluscum Contagiosum VirusIt seems that most doctors believe that the virus does not pass through chlorinated pools but that it is likely to be passed on outside of the pool, for example, the sides of the pool, diving boards and swimming equipment. An adult or child with molluscum contagiosum may continue to use swimming pools,  but should cover all of the molluscum bumps with watertight bandages before swimming. The sufferer can spread the virus from one part  of their body to another by scraping, shaving, touching or scratching a sore and then touching another part of the skin. Dermatologists refer to this as “reinfection” or “autoinoculation” and  the molluscum infection can develop and spread like wildfire on the body for many people. Molluscum Contagiosum VirusMolluscum contagiosum remains contagious until the last bump has gone. When the infection does clear up, the virus is gone from the body and does not lie “dormant” as it does with herpes, where the herpes virus can remain inactive in the body for months, or even years, before reappearing. So, when the final bump on the skin clears up, the molluscum contagiosum infection is gone, and will not reappear on its own. But, having the infection once does not provide immunity as it does with chicken pox, and it is possible to become infected again upon exposure to an infected person or contaminated object. Molluscum contagiosum is not hereditary, although multiple family members may be affected owing to the highly contagious nature of the virus. A teenager or adult with a molluscum contagiosum infection should refrain from sexual contact until the bumps have cleared up completely as there is a very high risk that the virus will be transmitted to their sexual partner. More Reading : Molluscum Contagiosum : Signs and Symptoms

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