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Infectious Diseases

Herpes virus

10/04/2004

Question:

can you develop herpes internally ?

Answer:

Short Answer: Yes. Human Herpes Simplex virus is able to infect a variety of tissues. For Herpes Simplex I, the most common site of infection is the oral mucosa around the lips (cold sores), but simultaneously, it is infecting the nerve ganglion that innervates the skin around the mouth, the trigeminal ganglia. Herpes not infrequently produce encephalitis, which can be fatal. It can produce lesions in the bronchial tree, especially in very sick patients that have been on a respirator for prolonged periods of time. In immunosuppressed people it can infect the retina, which is the light sensitive, posterior layer of the eye. It can also produce hepatitis in this population. Herpes Simplex type 2 usually infects the genital area skin and mucosa, but it can produce meningitis, infections in the lumbar spine, it can and does produce infection of the uterine cervix, the male and female urethra, the urinary bladder, especially in people using permanent catheters. It can also infect the rectal mucosa, more commonly in individuals that engage in anal intercourse.

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Response by:

Francisco   Gomez, MD Francisco Gomez, MD
Assistant Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati