Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"How long for the first genital herpes outbreak after contact with the virus?"
I read online that the first genital herpes outbreak usually happens 3 days to 2 weeks after coming in contact with the virus. Is this true?
As you know, genital herpes is usually caused by the herpes virus (type 2), which is passed from person to person through contact with secretions, usually during sexual intercourse. In terms of when the outbreak occurs after contact with an infected partner, you are correct that the range is from a few days to about 2 weeks, with the average around 3-5 days after contact. Primary infections, meaning first time infections in people who have never been infected before, are generally characterized by small, painful blisters with a red base that form on or near the genitals. The blisters can also form in the mouth of oral to genital contact has occurred. In addition to blisters, there may be some generalized symptoms as well, such as headache, aches and pains in the muscles, or fever. If you think you may have been exposed to herpes or to any other sexually transmitted infected, it is very important to set up a visit with your primary care doctor, so that they can screen you for these conditions. If you do contract herpes, there is an anti viral medication that can be prescribed to speed up healing and resolution of the symptoms.
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