There is no known cure for the infection, but treatments can reduce the likelihood of viral shedding and spread.
Symptoms of herpes simplex virus infection include watery blisters in the skin or mucous membranes of the mouth, lips or genitals. Lesions heal with a scab characteristic of herpetic disease. However, as neurotropic and neuroinvasive viruses, HSV-1 and -2 persist in the body for the life of the carrier by becoming latent and hiding from the immune system in the cell bodies of nerves. After the initial or primary infection, some infected people experience sporadic episodes of viral reactivation or outbreaks. In an outbreak, the virus in a nerve cell becomes active and is transported via the nerve's axon to the skin, where virus replication and shedding occur and cause new sores.