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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What are the different types of herpes simplex virus?

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    Dr Tony Bushati

    Gynaecologist, Obstetrician

    Obstetrician and Gynaecologist Dr Tony Bushati is a specialist Obstetrician & Gynaecologist with a particular interest in general and high risk obstetric, miscarriage, laparoscopic surgery … View Profile

    There are 8 types / strains of the herpes virus with two of these types / strains known as Herpes Simplex Virus. These are Type 1 and Type 2. They belong to the family of Human Herpes Viruses. Below is a short description of all 8 types of the Herpes Viruses:

    Type 1 – Herpes Virus
    This is also known as Herpes Simplex Virus 1 – This virus is associated with cold sores, but it can also cause genital lesions.

    Type 2 – Herpes Virus
    This virus causes genital lesions, and is commonly known as Herpes or Herpes Simplex Virus 2. It can also cause oral lesions. This is a sexually transmitted virus.

    Type 3 – Herpes Virus
    This is known as Varicella Zoster and causes Chicken Pox. It is not sexually transmitted and is most common in children. It can be dangerous if it occurs in pregnant women.

    Type 4 – Herpes Virus
    This is known as Epstein - Barr virus. It causes ‘kissing disease” or in medical terms ‘Infection Mononucleosis.’

    Type 5 – Herpes Virus
    This is known as Cytomegalovirus Virus (CMV). In healthy adults, it causes minimal or no symptoms at all, however in newborns or people with AIDS it can cause severe disease.  It can also be dangerous in pregnant women

    Type 6 – Herpes Virus
    This virus causes Roseola or Sixth Disease. Roseola is usually a mild disease in children associated with skin rashes and high fewer.

    Type 7 – Herpes Virus
    This and type 6 are closely related. This also can cause Roseola.

    Type 8 – Herpes Virus
    This virus was discovered in recent times and is found in Kaposi Sarcoma. Kaposi Sarcoma is a systemic disease which mostly affects AIDS patients.

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