Infectious Diseases

sec_arr Cold Sores

Cold Sores (Herpes Simplex 1)

General Description: Herpes simplex 1 (HSV 1) is a common viral infection that usually appears on the face as a superficial vesicular rash. It transforms into a open lesion with a red base that crusts over after a period of days. Reactivation of a latent infection is common; most adults have antibody evidence of previous infection.

Mode of Transmission: Contact with the herpes simplex virus in the saliva of carriers.

Efficiency of Transmission/Attack Rate: Initial infection generally occurs in most of the population by age 5.

Period of Communicability: Generally 5 days after lesions appear or until all lesions are crusted over.

Effect on LEO Fitness for Duty: Active infections are associated with localized pain and regional adenopathy, but should not affect fitness for duty. LEOs with active lesions should be restricted from activities that might involve direct person-to-person contact with the lesion (e.g., defensive tactics, physical training) or exchanging equipment that might become contaminated (e.g., HAZMAT personal protective equipment).

LEO-specific Clinical Studies and Reports: See Appendix A for links to resources on Herpes gladiatorum and protocols on disinfecting athletic facilities.