Definition

HSV-1 and HSV-2 are almost identical in structure; however, whereas HSV-1 has been associated with head and neck disease, HSV-2 primarily causes genital infection. As a result of oral-genital sexual encounters, both types of viruses can be isolated from the oral or genital area. The two viruses can cause identical lesions; however, herpetic encephalitis is usually caused by HSV-1 infection, whereas meningitis is usually caused by HSV-2 infection (7). (Discussion of genital herpes is beyond the scope of this chapter.)

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