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What is Herpes Simplex?
Herpes can appear in various parts of the body, most commonly on the genitals or mouth. There are two types of the herpes simplex virus. HSV-1, also known as oral herpes, can cause cold sores and fever blisters around the mouth and on the face. HSV-2 is generally responsible for genital herpes outbreaks.
Herpes simplex type 2: A herpes virus that causes genital herpes, which is characterized by sores in the genital area. Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted disease (STD).
This virus, like herpes simplex type 1, can also cause infection of the brain (encephalitis) if the immune system is severely defective or compromised. The treatment of infection with herpes simplex type 2 is usually by topical or oral anti-viral medication, although intravenous therapy is required to treat infections of the brain (encephalitis).
Herpes simplex type 2 is also known as human herpesvirus 2 (HHV-2).
The herpes simplex virus is a contagious virus that can be passed from person to person through direct contact. Children will often contract HSV-1 from early contact with an infected adult. They then carry the virus with them for the rest of their life.
Infection with HSV-1 can happen from general interactions such as eating from the same utensils, sharing lip balm, or kissing. The virus spreads more quickly when an infected person is experiencing an outbreak. Additionally, it is possible to get genital herpes from HSV-1 if the individual has had cold sores and performed sexual activities during that time.
HSV-2 is contracted through forms of sexual contact with a person who has HSV-2. It is estimated that around 20 percent of sexually active adults within the United States have been infected with HSV-2, according to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD). (AAD) While HSV-2 infections are spread by coming into contact with a herpes sore, the AAD reports that most people get HSV-1 from an infected person who is asymptomatic, or does not have sores.