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A 32-year-old member asked:

And what is the difference between herpes type i and ii?

2 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Larry Lutwick
Infectious Disease 49 years experience
Closely related : The viruses are very close relatives. It is interesting that infection can occur either oral or genitall but type 1 doesn't generally cause genital recurrences and vice-versa. Many of the antibody tests for hsv crossreact but glycoprotein g antibodies distinguish the twos viruses.
Dr. Martin Raff
Dr. Martin Raff commented
Infectious Disease 56 years experience
In addition, Type 2 may be responsible for so-called Mollaret's meningitis, whereas when Type 1 affects the central nervous system (thankfully rarely), it is far more severe.
Jul 27, 2012
Dr. Joel Gallant
Infectious Disease 36 years experience
Above/below the belt: In general, hsv-1 causes herpes labialis (cold sores) and hsv-2 causes anal and genital herpes. But the viruses don't always follow the rules, so it's possible, for example, to get genital herpes caused by hsv-1, especially with an initial outbreak. Hsv-1 would be unlikely to cause recurrent genital herpes, however.

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Last updated Jul 27, 2012

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