Herpes simplex is divided into two types; HSV-1 causes primarily mouth, throat, face, eye, and central nervous system infections, whereas HSV-2 causes primarily anogenital infections. HSV infection causes several distinct medical disorders.
Prior HSV-1 seroconversion seems to reduce the symptoms of a later HSV-2 infection, although HSV-2 can still be contracted.
For recurrent outbreaks, the whole cycle from prodromal symptoms of an outbreak to healing can take about 10 days to 3 weeks.
For individuals who are experiencing primary (first) outbreak, the outbreak will be the worst and the entire course of the infection may be longer and last from 3 to 6 weeks.
More serious disorders occur when the virus infects and damages the eye (herpes keratitis), or invades the central nervous system, damaging the brain (herpes encephalitis).
People with immature or suppressed immune systems, such as newborns, transplant recipients, or people with AIDS, are prone to severe complications from HSV infections.