DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Herpes simplex. Close-up of a baby's mouth with a large red ulcer under the upper lip, caused by the herpes simplex virus (type I). Herpes simplex is a contagious infection that affects most people dur- ing childhood, often passing unnoticed without symptoms. Initial infection can sometimes cause a flu-like illness and mouth ulcers, as was the case here. The virus remains dormant in facial nerves for life, and in some people causes recurrent att- acks of blisters (cold sores) around the mouth in response to hot sunshine, cold wind or illness. There is no cure for herpes simplex but antiviral drugs can reduce the severity of an attack, and antibiotics may be given for secondary infections.
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