Causative Agent

Mumps virus is similar in size to herpes simplex virus (about 200 nm diameter) and also has a lipid-containing envelope. Otherwise, the viruses are quite different. Mumps virus is classed in the paramyxovirus family, a group of single-stranded RNA

Table 24.3 Herpes Simplex


Initial infection: fever, severe throat pain, ulcerations of the mouth and throat. Recurrences: itching, tingling or pain usually localized to the lip, followed by blisters that break leaving a painful sore, which usually heals in 7 to 10 days

Incubation period

2 to 20 days

Causative agent

Herpes simplex virus (HSV), usually type 1


The virus multiplies in the epithelium, producing cell destruction and blisters containing large numbers of infectious virions. An immune response quickly limits the infection, but non-infectious HSV DNA persists in sensory nerves. Associated with a variety of stresses, this DNA becomes the source of infectious virions that are carried to the skin or mucous membranes, usually of the lip, causing recurrent sores


Widespread virus, transmitted by close physical contact.The saliva of asymptomatic individuals is commonly infectious

Prevention and treatment

Acyclovir, penciclovir, and similar medications that inhibit HSV DNA polymerase can shorten the illness or prevent recurrences. Sunscreens are helpful in preventing recurrences due to ultraviolet exposure

viruses that includes the rubeola and respiratory syncytial viruses. Only one antigenic type of the mumps virus is known.

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