Herpes simplex virus 1 and 2 (HSV-1 and HSV-2), also known as human herpesvirus 1 and 2 (HHV-1 and HHV-2), are two members of the herpesvirus family. Both HSV-1 (which produces most cold sores) and HSV-2 (which produces most genital herpes) are ubiquitous and contagious. They can be spread when an infected person is producing and shedding the virus. According to the World Health Organization 67% of the world population under the age of 50 have HSV-1.
Symptoms of herpes virus include watery blisters in the skin or mucous membranes of the mouth, lips, nose or genitals. Lesions heal with a scab characteristic of herpetic disease. Sometimes, the viruses cause very mild or atypical symptoms during outbreaks. However, it can also cause more troublesome forms of herpes simplex. As neurotropic and neuroinvasive viruses, HSV-1 and 2 persist in the body by becoming latent and hiding from the immune system in the cell bodies of neurons.
The NHS has more information about Herpes, click here to find out more.
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