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HSV is extremely widespread and infects up to 90% of some U.S. inner-city populations, usually resulting in mild, if any, symptoms. An estimated 20% to 40% of Americans suffer recurrent herpes simplex. The virus is transmitted primarily by close physical contact, although it can survive for several hours on plastic and cloth. The greatest risk of infection is from contact with lesions or saliva from patients within a few days of disease onset, because at this time large numbers of virions are present. The saliva of people with

Giant Cell Inclusion Disease

Figure 24.9 Herpes Simplex Labialis, Also Known As Cold Sores or Fever Blisters The photomicrograph is of stained material from a herpes simplex lesion. It shows a multinucleated giant cell and intranuclear inclusion bodies.The pink areas within the epithelial cell nuclei are inclusion bodies, the sites of viral replication.

Figure 24.9 Herpes Simplex Labialis, Also Known As Cold Sores or Fever Blisters The photomicrograph is of stained material from a herpes simplex lesion. It shows a multinucleated giant cell and intranuclear inclusion bodies.The pink areas within the epithelial cell nuclei are inclusion bodies, the sites of viral replication.

608 Chapter 24 Alimentary System Infections no symptoms can be infectious, however, posing a risk to therapists who have contact with saliva, such as nurses and dental workers. HSV can infect almost any body tissue. For example, herpetic whitlow, a painful finger infection, is not uncommon among nurses, and wrestlers can develop infections at almost any skin site because saliva containing HSV can contaminate wrestling mats and get rubbed into abrasions. The virus rubbed into the eye can cause blindness, and HSV is the most frequently identified cause of sporadic, viral encephalitis, a serious brain disease.

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