Summary

  • Infection with HSV-1 or HSV-2 can cause oral, genital, and ocular ulcers. Most people have unrecognized disease.
  • Symptoms of genital herpes range from asymptomatic to tingling and burning without lesions, to recurrent genital ulcerations.
  • Symptoms of herpes labialis include tingling and burning followed by development of vesicular then ulcerative lesions involving the oropharynx and perioral mucosa.
  • Acyclovir, famciclovir, and valacyclovir are effective at shortening the duration and severity of an outbreak.
  • Daily suppressive therapy reduces recurrences by 80% and reduces transmission risk by approximately 50%.
  • HSV type-specific antibody tests are used to diagnose infection with or without lesions and distinguish between type 1 and 2.

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