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Q. What is the risk of HSV encephalitis in a HSV 1 positive person?

Answered by
Dr. Aditya Gupta
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Mar 01, 2017 and last reviewed on: Aug 18, 2021

Hi doctor,

I am suffering from HSV 1. I have a mild recurrence on my mouth and face. Will I get HSV encephalitis at any point of life? My immune system is healthy and I do not have much blisters.

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#

Hello,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

  • Infection with HSV 1 (herpes simplex virus) results in immunity against it. But, the virus remains dormant in the body and can reactivate later in life causing encephalitis if it enters the brain.
  • How it can come to the brain is not completely understood, but decreased immunity and infection elsewhere can cause reactivation, though the chances are few.
  • Just maintain a healthy lifestyle and take good care of yourself.

For further information consult a psychiatrist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/psychiatrist

Hi doctor,

If a HSV 1 positive person is not immunocompromised, is there a risk of getting encephalitis at any point of life? Is HSV encephalitis a rare disease?

#

Hi,

Welcome back to icliniq.com.

  • Many of us get infected with HSV. Once we got infected, the virus remains dormant in our body for the lifetime.
  • HSV encephalitis can occur as a primary infection in previously uninfected person also so that it can happen in those already infected and carrying the dormant virus.
  • Dormant virus reactivates when a person is immunocompromised either due to a chronic disease or severe infection or severe stress. So, it does not matter if you are already infected with HSV 1.
  • Just maintain your health because it will only reactivate if you are somehow immunocompromised either due to an illness or severe stress.

For further information consult a psychiatrist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/psychiatrist


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