Scenario 4: Genital Herpes

A 19-year-old female presents to the clinic with a chief complaint of “fluid filled bumps” and intense pruritis of her vulva. She states these symptoms have been present for about 10 days, but she thought she had a yeast infection. She self-medicated with over the counter (OTC) metronidazole (Flagyl™) intravaginally but the symptoms got worse. No other complaints except for fatigue out of proportion to her activity level. Past medical history noncontributory. Social history: sexually active with several men and did forget to use a condom during one sexual encounter. Physical exam negative except for pelvic exam which revealed multiple fluid filled (vesicular) lesions on the vulva and introitus. Positive lymph nodes in inguinal areas. The APRN diagnoses the patient with herpes simplex virus-type 2 known as genital herpes.


What is the pathophysiology of HSV-2?