Herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) is a type of herpes virus that primarily infects the oral mucosa and the skin.
HSV-1 is highly contagious and spreads easily through direct contact with infected saliva, skin, or secretions from the mouth or genital area.
Once a person is infected with HSV-1, the virus remains in the body for life and can reactivate and cause outbreaks of symptoms at any time.
Common symptoms of HSV-1 include oral herpes, which manifests as cold sores or fever blisters around the mouth, and genital herpes, which can cause genital ulcers and pain.
In some individuals, HSV-1 infections can cause severe or life-threatening complications, particularly in people with weakened immune systems.
HSV-1 is one of the most common human viruses, with an estimated 67% of the global population under the age of 50 being infected.
There is no cure for HSV-1, but antiviral medications can help to reduce the frequency and severity of outbreaks.
In addition to direct contact, HSV-1 can also be transmitted through the sharing of personal items, such as towels or razors, with an infected person.
Good hygiene practices, such as washing hands regularly and avoiding close contact with infected individuals, can help to prevent the spread of HSV-1.
Research into HSV-1 is ongoing, with the goal of developing better treatments and a potential cure for the virus.