Herpes simplex and rheumatic disease Please rate this page (bottom of page)

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Herpes simplex virus (HSV) is usually harmless, but causes unpleasant blisters, usually in the mouth and on the lips (most often HSV-1) or genital / genitalia (most often HSV-2). The virus remains in the body throughout its life.

  • In weakened immune systems that can occur during treatment with immunosuppressive drugs for rheumatic disease, herpes simplex can rarely cause serious complications


Among adults, 50-80% are carriers of HSV-1 in Norway. Similarly for HSV-2 is 20-30%.


  • Sore throat and painful blisters in mouth and on lips are often referred to as cold sores
  • Both HSV-1 and HSV-2 can cause blisters in both mouth and genital and have similar symptoms
  • Infected children may experience fever, inflammation of the skin and eyes
  • Serious complications of impaired immune system are rare but include encephalitis and meningitis (meningitis)


  • Typical symptoms
  • Brush test for PCR diagnostics
  • In case of encephalitis or meningitis, PCR is done from the spinal fluid


In case of symptoms of infection the first time (primary infection) and in the case of serious complications, antiviral drugs are given.


Opportunistic infections, BINDEVEVSSYKDOMMER.no

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