What is it?

Herpes simplex (HSV) is a virus that causes herpes which affects the genitals and mouth. HSV-1 usually causes fever blisters and cold sores around the mouth and on the face. HSV-2 usually causes genital herpes. HSV is transmitted through direct contact, a baby can get infected during childbirth if the mom has active sores. Risk factors include having multiple sex partenrs, haveing sex at a young age, being female, having another STI, and a weak immune system.

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Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- Herpes Simplex Keratitis
- Herpes Simplex Otitis Externa
- Dendritic Keratitis
- Herpetic Encephalitis
- Herpes Simplex Meningitis
- Herpes Simplex Complications
- Herpetic Infection of Penis
- Herpes Simplex Iridocyclitis
- Genital Herpes
- Herpes Simplex of Eye
- Herpes Simplex Myelitis
- Herpetic Gingivostomatitis
- Herpes Simplex of Eyelid
- Herpetic Whitlow
- Herpetic Septicemia
- Eczema Herpeticum
- Herpetic Vulvovaginitis
- Herpetic Ulcer of Vulva

Signs & symptoms

Symptoms may include blistering sores, pain during urination, and itching. Sometimes, before the sores come out, there could be some flu-like symptoms such as fever, swollen lymph nodes, headaches, fatigue and lack of appetite. If herpes spreads to the eyes, it could cause herpes keratitis- eye pain and discharge.


HSV is diagnosed on a physical examination. Then, a hepes culture is taken from the sore to confirm the diagnosis. Blood tests may be done to look for antibodies.


Treatment for HSV include medications such as acyclovir, famciclovir and valacyclovir.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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