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HomeAnswersPsychiatryhsvI suffer from HSV 1. Can I get HSV encephalitis at any point in my life?

How is the risk of HSV encephalitis in a HSV 1 positive?

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The following is an actual conversation between an iCliniq user and a doctor that has been reviewed and published as a Premium Q&A.

Answered by

Dr. Aditya Gupta

Medically reviewed by

iCliniq medical review team

Published At March 2, 2017
Reviewed AtMay 7, 2024

Patient's Query

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 in life? My immune system is healthy and I do not have many blisters.

Answered by Dr. Aditya Gupta

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 less. Just maintain a healthy lifestyle and take good care of yourself. Thank you.

Patient's Query

Hi doctor,

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

Answered by Dr. Aditya Gupta

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 a lifetime. HSV (human simplex virus) encephalitis can occur as a primary infection in a previously uninfected person also so 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. Thank you.

Same symptoms don't mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Dr. Aditya Gupta
Dr. Aditya Gupta

Psychiatry

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