Pathogenesis

Transmitted through close personal contact; two viral subtypes: HSV-i transmitted primarily by contact with infected saliva; HSV-2 mainly transmitted sexually; after direct exposure to infectious material (i.e., saliva, genital secretions), initial viral replication occurs at either the skin or mucous membrane entry site; after retrograde axonal flow from neurons at viral point of entry and local replication, viral genome becomes latent and no viral particles are produced; stimulus (e.g., physical or emotional stress, fever, ultraviolet light) causes reactivation of the virus

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