Children's Liver Disease Foundation
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Cold sores (Herpes virus) children immune suppressed


My 4 year old was born with Biliary Atresia . He had the Kasai at 12 weeks and then had a transplant at 10 months old.

At the moment he is getting a lot of cold sores. Each time we need to put him on a 5 day course of Aciclovir. When his brother gets cold sores he still needs to go on Aciclovir. He has had 4 cold sores since September and his brother has had two. It is a lot of extra drugs into his small body and i need to find a solution. He needed to be admitted for iv aciclovir recently.

Is any one else whose child is immune suppressed having this type of problem.

Many thanks


3 Replies

Our son is 9 and a half now and had a transplant 9 years ago this coming February. He got cold sores all the time for about 3 years after transplant. However, he hasn't had any for at least 6 years now, touch wood. It may be something they fall victim to more easily when they are in those first few months post transplant?

Hope that sheds some light and a little bit of hope?


Hi Clairep4

Thank you for that. Just wondering did you have to treat your son with the same meds. Did you find any triggers? It is like doing a jigsaw and putting together the pieces. It looks like when my son is fighting other problems like ear infections he breaks out but also when he started swimming it all started. I dont know if it is a coincidence but we will have to drop the swimming for a while to see it he improves.


Hi there

Sorry to be so slow replying!

Yes our son had the aciclovir, never needed it iv though. It was always worse in winter and when he had cold. It didn't seem to be a constant thing at the time but looking back at photos he seems to have bright red cheeks, dry lips and a bit of a snotty nose of every one! Also, the receptionists at the GP knew what I was talking about when I rang up and said i needed a prescription for aciclovir and would get it sorted without having to use up an appointment so clearly, he was well known for them at the time!

There always seemed to be chicken pox at nursery as well, so he would regularly have the vzig injection as he had no immunity to it and I know that's a similar strain of the virus. There was one year where he had a vzig almost every month for about 6 months as chicken pox was in the 2 different nurseries that he attended. That seemed to coincide with him stopping getting the cold sores so whether the constant vzig helped to quell them or not I have no idea?!

He has since actually had chicken pox and now (fingers crossed) has some immunity to it, and the worst he suffers from is very, very sore chapped lips and under his bottom lip in the winter. Out of our 4 children he is the most hale and hearty looking of all, so my advice would be to go with your gut instinct in every situation and fingers crossed your son will grow out of it, or at least they will be a bit less frequent.


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