People with immature or suppressed immune systems, such as newborns, transplant recipients, or people with AIDS, are prone to severe complications from HSV infections.
HSV infection has also been associated with cognitive deficits of bipolar disorder, and Alzheimer's disease, although this is often dependent on the genetics of the infected person.
Even microscopic abrasions on mucous membranes are sufficient to allow viral entry.
HSV asymptomatic shedding occurs at some time in most individuals infected with herpes.
Adults with atypical presentation are more difficult to diagnose.In all cases, HSV is never removed from the body by the immune system.Following a primary infection, the virus enters the nerves at the site of primary infection, migrates to the cell body of the neuron, and becomes latent in the ganglion.Individuals who participate in contact sports such as wrestling, rugby, and football(soccer), sometimes acquire a condition caused by HSV-1 known as herpes gladiatorum, scrumpox, wrestler's herpes, or mat herpes, which presents as skin ulceration on the face, ears, and neck.Symptoms include fever, headache, sore throat, and swollen glands. A herpetic infection of the brain thought to be caused by the transmission of virus from a peripheral site on the face following HSV-1 reactivation, along the trigeminal nerve axon, to the brain.
HSV is the most common cause of viral encephalitis.