Herpes simplex lesion

Herpes simplex lesion

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Credit: DR P. MARAZZI/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: Herpes simplex virus infection. Herpes lesions on the skin of a 68-year-old man. Herpes simplex viruses are very common. Two types have been distinguished. Type 1 (HSV-1) infection which used to be associated with most oral and central nervous system infections, with Type 2 (HSV-2) involved in genital herpes infections. This distinction is no longer clear-cut, due to a supposed increase in oral sexual activities. HSV-1 infection commonly occurs in childhood. After the primary infection, the virus persists in a latent state to re-appear and cause recurrent cold sores.

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