We asked leading researchers how the two compare in terms of severity, recurrences, and transmission rates.
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However, both types can recur and spread even when no symptoms are present.
The primary difference between the two viral types is in where they typically establish latency in the body- their "site of preference." HSV-1 usually establishes latency in the trigeminal ganglion, a collection of nerve cells near the ear.
It is the most common cause of neonatal herpes, a rare but dangerous infection in newborns; however, type 1 causes up to one-third of neonatal infections.
The two types do behave somewhat differently depending on whether they are residing in their site of preference-the mouth and face for HSV-1, and the genital area for HSV-2.
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