Herpes simplex

Herpes simplex

A recurrent viral infection, herpes simplex is subclinical in about 85% of cases. The others produce localized lesions and systemic reactions. After the first infection, a patient is a carrier susceptible to recurrent infections, which may be provoked by fever, menses, stress, heat, and cold. In recurrent infections, the patient usually has no constitutional signs and symptoms.


Herpes simplex is caused by Herpes-virus hominis (HVH), a widespread infectious agent. Type 1 herpes, which is transmitted by oral and respiratory secretions, affects the skin and mucous membranes and commonly produces cold sores and fever blisters.

Type 2 herpes primarily affects the genital area and is transmitted by sexual contact. Cross-infection may result from orogenital sex.


Primary HVH is the leading cause of gingivostomatitis in children ages 1 to 3. It causes the most common nonepidemic encephalitis and is the second most common viral infection in pregnant women. It can pass to the fetus transplacentally and, in early pregnancy, may cause spontaneous abortion or premature birth.

Jun 16, 2016 | Posted by in GENERAL & FAMILY MEDICINE | Comments Off on Herpes simplex

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