What is Herpes Simplex 1

Herpes simplex 1

Common cause of Herpes simplex virus is due to skin infection and mucous membranes. And an uncommon cause can be more dangerous infection in genital organs. It is part of a group of different herpes virus that includes human herpes virus 8 that is also responsible for causing chicken pox and shingles. There is a unique characteristic pattern of all herpes virus that creeps along local nerve pathways till the nerve clusters at the end where they remain inactive state for sometime.

Two major types of Herpes Simplex virus are there that are identified with the help of different proteins on its surface

• Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1)

• Herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2)

Herpes Simplex 1

The herpes simplex virus (HSV) is a human pathogen worldwide.  Primary infection is usually acquired in childhood and is often asymptomatic, after the virus becomes latent in neurons of cranial nerve ganglia (HSV-1). HSV-1 typically infects the mucous membranes of the eyes, mouth and mucocutaneous junctions of the face can cause ulcers.  HSV -1 is also a frequent cause of severe sporadic encephalitis in adults.

Herpes Simplex 1 infection


Most primary infections with HSV-1 is asymptomatic. However, primary infection can cause a variety of clinical symptoms of infection in the mouth and gums (gingivostomatitis) and a sore throat (pharyngitis) in children. Injuries can occur anywhere in the oral region and may involve the roof and floor of mouth and the inside of the cheek (oral mucosa). The disease can develop within days and can be painful. The child is often in a bad mood, not wanting to eat, drink and swallow, and may also have swollen lymph nodes and fever. Sometimes these children become so dehydrated that they require hospitalization. In adolescents and adults, primary HSV-1 infection present as tonsillitis. Tonsils can be tender and covered with a whitish substance, resembling strep throat. “The tenderness and swelling of the tonsils can cause problems with swallowing.


HSV-1 can also infect the skin, but only if the skin is damaged, for example in patients with eczema (atopic). Rarely, the primary HSV-1 expanded in many areas throughout the body eczema (eczema herpeticum). This condition requires antiviral therapy to limit the spread. Children who are thumb-sucking may develop herpes on the finger.

Primary HSV-1 infection is also associated with a variety of skin conditions such as erythema multiforme and Stevens-Johnson syndrome. These conditions are not considered directly caused by the virus, but the result of an immune reaction in the skin at the time of infection.


A site less frequent, but clinically important primary HSV-1 is an eye infection. Such an infection can occur in one or both eyes, conjunctivitis, or an infection of the eyelid with blisters on the edge of the eyelids, eyelid swelling and tearing. The eye can also be a deeper commitment (keratokonjunktivitt). Sometimes children with herpes labialis or herpetic whitlow may rub their eyes and spread of the virus in the eyes of this (self-administration). In immunosuppressed patients, infection with HSV-1 in the eye also involves retina.

Primary Herpes Simplex 1 symptoms

  • Most primary infections are asymptomatic
  • No symptoms may occur in 2-9% of adults and 5-8% of children
  • If clinical symptoms are usually mild
  • Some people have severe symptoms.


Recurrent infections with Hrepes Simplex 1

Cold sores

About a quarter-thirds of HSV-1 seropositive activated virus. A common and familiar signs of HSV-1 is the reactivation of herpes labialis. Most people who suffer from recurrent cold sores will realize that the 1-2 days before the onset of a tingling, itching or pain (prodromal) at the usual place of cold sores. Cold sores often occur on the same site as the upper lip, upper lip, or inside the mouth, but can also be placed in the nose, chin or cheeks. Sometimes people can have relapses in more than one location.

The molecular mechanisms underlying the reactivation of the exact virus are unknown, but we do know is that stress, extreme sunlight (beach activities, skiing), fever, local skin trauma, and menstruation some of the factors that may contribute to outbreaks of cold sores. Blisters on a cold evil contain infectious virus, but usually heal within a few days, with or without causing ulcers that crust


HSV-1 can activate in a finger as herpetic whitlow. Herpetic whitlow is often extremely painful, because of the presence of many nerve endings and rigid skin on your fingertips.


HSV-1 can activate the conjunctiva of the eye (keratokonjunktivitt, herpes dendriticum) and can sometimes affect both eyes. frequent relapses, can lead to scarring and thickening of the cornea, and uveitis and is the leading cause of blindness in the industrialized world. In the immunocompromised person, the retina can be involved and lead to sudden blindness.

Neurological symptoms of Herpes Simplex 1

Facial paralysis (Bell’s palsy) has been associated with reactivation of HSV-1. In rare cases, HSV-1 also infect the brain (herpes encephalitis). This infection can be associated with headache and increasing confusion and, if left untreated, the patient quickly loses consciousness and dies. It is unclear how and why it is herpes encephalitis. This condition requires early clinical recognition, laboratory tests, CT scans and prompt antiviral treatment.

Recurrent infections with Herpes Simplex 1

  • Tingling, itching or discomfort (prodrome) occurs in about half of the people just before the appearance of blisters.
  • In most people, early symptoms last about a day before the occurrence of herpes labialis. Some also feel tired for a few days before.
  • Sunlight, fever, local trauma to the skin, stress and menstruation can be triggers for cold sores.
Posted in Diseases, Health Care Tagged with: , ,