Incubation period days

Period of communicability 2-7 weeks during the initial clinical infection and 5 days during a recurrence.

Occurrence and distribution A worldwide and increasing problem amongst the sexually active. As the infection is difficult to treat there is a recurrent reservoir of infection with each clinical attack and if one of these should occur during delivery, then neonatal death or disability will result.

Control and prevention The same as with gonorrhoea and syphilis (see above). Infected persons should be warned of the increased risk of developing HIV infection.

Treatment There is no cure, but acyclovir 200 mg orally five times daily for 7 days or acyclovir 400 mg orally three times a day for 7 days, or other analogues will reduce the formation of new lesions, pain and the period of healing, but not recurrent attacks.

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