Ask an Eye M.D. Answer Archive
Is herpes simplex 2 contagious? Is the virus progressive enough to cause blindness?
Most of us pick up herpes simplex virus in childhood because the virus is ubiquitous and contagious, and we carry the herpes simplex virus in our bodies throughout life. Herpes simplex virus type 1 is more common than type 2, but either type of virus can cause flare-ups at times including cold sores, fever blisters, and ulcers on the cornea of the eye. Medications designed to kill herpes virus in the eye are available and are effective in killing the virus in the eye, but they do not eliminate the virus from the entire body. Scarring of the cornea from herpes virus infections of the cornea due to formation of scars can cause decreased vision, but complete blindness rarely, if ever, occurs.
Answered by: Lee Duffner, MD
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