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<< Pediatric Herpes Simplex Virus Infections: An Evidence-Based Approach To Treatment

Etiology And Pathophysiology

Herpes viruses are enveloped, double-stranded DNA viruses, and their types number > 80. Those that affect humans include herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV1), herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV2), human herpesviruses 6 and 7 (HHV6, HHV7), Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpes virus (HHV8), cytomegalovirus, varicella-zoster virus, and Epstein- Barr virus. HSV is transmitted primarily through exposure to skin or mucous membranes that have active lesions. Additionally, transmission may occur through direct contact with saliva or respiratory droplets, or from exposure to mucocutaneous secretions from an individual who is shedding the virus. It should be noted that HSV can be transmitted even if there are no visible sores.

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