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This theory has been contested, however, since HSV is detected in large numbers of individuals having never experienced facial paralysis, and higher levels of antibodies for HSV are not found in HSV-infected individuals with Bell's palsy compared to those without.In the presence of a certain gene variation (APOE-epsilon4 allele carriers), HSV-1 appears to be particularly damaging to the nervous system and increases one's risk of developing Alzheimer's disease.Individuals who participate in contact sports such as wrestling, rugby, and football(soccer), sometimes acquire a condition caused by HSV-1 known as herpes gladiatorum, scrumpox, wrestler's herpes, or mat herpes, which presents as skin ulceration on the face, ears, and neck.Symptoms include fever, headache, sore throat, and swollen glands. A herpetic infection of the brain thought to be caused by the transmission of virus from a peripheral site on the face following HSV-1 reactivation, along the trigeminal nerve axon, to the brain.Herpes simplex virus 2 is typically contracted through direct skin-to-skin contact with an infected individual, but can also be contracted by exposure to infected saliva, semen, vaginal fluid, or the fluid from herpetic blisters.
HSV asymptomatic shedding occurs at some time in most individuals infected with herpes.Antibodies that develop following an initial infection with a type of HSV prevents reinfection with the same virus type—a person with a history of orofacial infection caused by HSV-1 cannot contract herpes whitlow or a genital infection caused by HSV-1.If an oral HSV-1 infection is contracted first, seroconversion will have occurred after 6 weeks to provide protective antibodies against a future genital HSV-1 infection. Primary orofacial herpes is readily identified by clinical examination of persons with no previous history of lesions and contact with an individual with known HSV-1 infection.In all cases, HSV is never removed from the body by the immune system.Following a primary infection, the virus enters the nerves at the site of primary infection, migrates to the cell body of the neuron, and becomes latent in the ganglion.