Herpes simplex virus (HSV)-1 and HSV-2 are members of the Alphaherpesviridae subfamily. HSV is an enveloped virus with a capsid containing viral DNA. Although HSV-1 and HSV-2 are closely related, the 2 viruses are serologically and genetically distinct.
HSV-1 and -2 are common causes of dermal and genital infections; however, in some cases, infection with HSV may result in central nervous system (CNS) disease that is considered a medical emergency. HSV infection of the CNS may result in encephalitis (more commonly associated with HSV-1) or meningitis (more commonly associated with HSV-2). HSV-1 encephalitis is more common in adults, and HSV-2 encephalitis is more common in neonates. Read more