Does herpes simplex affect children differently than adults?

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner
Children are affected by herpes simplex in the same way as adults. Most people get exposed to HSV-1, the type of herpes simplex virus that causes cold sores. A child's infection with HSV-1 may be painful, causing  mouth sores and flulike symptoms that can last up to two weeks. Recurrences are usually less severe. HSV-2, the virus associated with genital herpes, is less of an issue with those who have not yet reached adulthood. A child who has herpes simplex needs to be taught to avoid direct contact with others during an active outbreak. A doctor should be consulted before giving a young child aspirin for pain relief. Parents and caregivers need to watch for symptoms indicating future outbreaks.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.