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Doctor insights on: How Long Can Herpes Stay Dormant Before First Outbreak

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Dr. Joel Rivera Jimenez
Board Certified, Obstetrics and Gynecology
12 years in practice
833K people helped
1

1
How long can herpes type 1 stay dormant before your first outbreak?

How long can herpes type 1 stay dormant before your first outbreak?

Herpes: Recurrent herpetic outbreaks are usually shorter in duration (averaging 7 days), with less severe symptoms and are often preceded by a prodrome of itching or burning in the affected area. Systemic symptoms are usually absent. Most people diagnosed with a first episode of genital herpes can expect to have several (typically four or five) outbreaks (symptomatic recurrences) within a year. ...Read more

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Dr. Christopher Crosby
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10 years in practice
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Herpes (Definition)

There are different types of herpes infections; herpes simplex infection of mouth (gingivostomatitis) and lips (labialis) are the most common. Others include genital herpes, and herpes zoster. Herpes infection could very mild to very dangerous depending on the type and location of the body affected. I ...Read more


Dr. Martin Raff
Board Certified, Infectious Disease
50 years in practice
103M people helped
2

2
How long can herpes virus stay dormant before initial outbreak?

How long can herpes virus stay dormant before initial outbreak?

Herpes simplex: If an acute initial outbreak is going to occur it will be within several days of acquisition of the virus. The virus will remain with you the rest of your life and may recur with outbreaks in an unpredictable fashion. Some never become symptomatic. Good luck. ...Read more

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Dr. Christopher Crosby
Board Certified
10 years in practice
92K people helped
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Dr. Joel Rivera Jimenez
Board Certified, Obstetrics and Gynecology
12 years in practice
833K people helped
3

3
Does genital herpes lay dormant for years before initial outbreak?

Does genital herpes lay dormant for years before initial outbreak?

Herpes: Recurrent herpetic outbreaks are usually shorter in duration (averaging 7 days), with less severe symptoms and are often preceded by a prodrome of itching or burning in the affected area. Systemic symptoms are usually absent. Most people diagnosed with a first episode of genital herpes can expect to have several (typically four or five) outbreaks (symptomatic recurrences) within a year. ...Read more

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Dr. Saul Hymes
Board Certified, Pediatric Infectious Disease
9 years in practice
342K people helped
4

4
My boyfriend of a year has a herpes cold sore on his lip and he says he has never had it before.I don't have the virus. Can hsv-1 be dormant for years and suddenly outbreak?

My boyfriend of a year has a herpes cold sore on his lip and he says he has never had it before.I don't have the virus.  Can hsv-1 be dormant for years and suddenly outbreak?

Absolutely: Most people are infected with oral hsv as children and can indeed lay dormant for years and then emerge. You may even have it and not realize it, unless you have had antibody testing that is negative. Also, oral herpes and genital herpes are two separate viruses so this doesn't necessarily mean that he has been unfaithful or performed oral sex on someone else or anything of the sort. ...Read more

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Dr. Christopher Crosby
Board Certified
10 years in practice
92K people helped
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Dr. H. Hunter Handsfield
Board Certified, Infectious Disease
47 years in practice
1M people helped
5

5
How long does tingling happen before first outbreak of herpes. I get itching neck pain lower back pain now tingling for over 4 days now?

How long does tingling happen before first outbreak of herpes. I get itching neck pain lower back pain now tingling for over 4 days now?

This isn't herpes: For initial herpes, there usually is no tingling before sores appear. Tingling is mainly a symptom of recurrent herpes; in that case, it lasts only a day or two before the outbreak itself shows up. Your symptoms don't sound at all like herpes, which doesn't cause tingling without sores and rarely if ever causes low back pain. See doctor if symptoms continue, but no worries about herpes. Good luck! ...Read more

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Dr. Charles Whiting
Board Certified, Obstetrics and Gynecology
21 years in practice
2M people helped
6

6
I think I am having my first herpes outbreak. How long do you usually feel sick?

I think I am having my first herpes outbreak. How long do you usually feel sick?

5 days or so: The first herpes outbreak usually lasts about 2 weeks. Fortunately, you don't usually feel sick the entire time. Usually only the first 5 days or so. Best wishes! ...Read more

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Dr. Heidi Fowler
Board Certified, Psychiatry
19 years in practice
527M people helped
7

7
I am having my first herpes outbreak. How long do you usually feel sick?

I am having my first herpes outbreak. How long do you usually feel sick?

Duration: Duration of illness with initial herpes simplex virus type 1 infection is usually 2 to 3 weeks. Not everyone experiences this. ...Read more

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Dr. Brendan Carroll
Board Certified, Obstetrics and Gynecology
21 years in practice
135K people helped
8

8
Can someone tell me how long will first herpes outbreak last?

2-3 weeks: Typically, the first outbreak is the worst. Symptoms usually resolve in 2-3 weeks. Skin pain may last as long as 6 weeks. ...Read more

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Dr. Valentin Drezaliu
Board Certified, Obstetrics and Gynecology
14 years in practice
3M people helped
9

9
How long does the pain from my first herpes outbreak last?

Up to 1 week: You can have pain up to 1 week if additional complications dont develop. ...Read more

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Dr. Justin Diedrich
Board Certified, Gynecology
8 years in practice
807K people helped
10

10
How long does the first outbreak of herpes last in vaginal area?

How long does the first outbreak of herpes last in vaginal area?

Varies: Call your doc. Getting an antiviral may decrease the length of time this first outbreak lasts. The first outbreak usually is most painful and lasts longest. ...Read more

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Dr. Christopher Crosby
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