Herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) is a ubiquitous and contagious virus that mainly causes cold sores and also has been found in genital infections. Herpes viruses are neurotropic and can enter a latent stage, escaping the immune system.
A majority of the US population is assumed to be latently infected with herpes viruses. Reactivation can occur sporadically resulting in efficient trasmission to new hosts. There are only a few antivirals to treat the symptoms and reduce transmission rates.