Is one of Herpes Symptoms Scratching all over the Body?

Dear Dr. Tom:

Is one of the symptoms scratching all over the body? How is it transmitted? Could it be transmitted in its dormant stages?

Dr. Tom’s Response:

Dear Anonymous Who Inquired About Scratching:

I know of only one rare case where a herpes infected person had itching over nearly his entire body. This was a male child who was severely immune-compromised, meaning nature failed to provide him with the barest fundamental immune response capabilities at birth. Scratching would be an anticipated reaction to herpetic sores at affected locations. The virus is transmitted sexually, via intercourse and orally, by kissing as in fever blisters, through contact as in mild to severe skin abrasions and on the hands as in nursing and dentistry. Yes, the virus can be transmitted by some persons while in its dormant stage. These are known as shedders. Not all herpes infected persons can do so, but because some are able to do so, the best advice we can offer is to consider all herpes infected persons to be infectious at all times.


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