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November 29, 1965

Epidemic Cutaneous Herpes Simplex in Wrestlers (Herpes Gladiatorum)

Author Affiliations

From the divisions of dermatology, Department of Medicine, University of North Carolina Medical School, and North Carolina Memorial Hospital, Chapel Hill (Dr. Wheeler), and Athens, Ga (Dr. Cabaniss).

JAMA. 1965;194(9):993-997. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03090220049013

Infection of the skin with herpes simplex assumes a variety of forms which are classified as either primary or recurrent.1 Primary infection is the initial infection, whereas recurrent disease represents activation of a herpetic focus which has lain dormant for weeks, months, or sometimes years.

Cutaneous involvement in primary herpes simplex may accompany gingivostomatitis, keratoconjunctivitis, vulvovaginitis, balanitis, or urethritis.1 In visceral herpes of the newborn, hepatitis of the malnourished, or herpetic meningoencephalitis, skin lesions are too inconspicuous and occur too infrequently to be of much diagnostic value.1-4 Localized primary infections in which the skin is the portal of entry are probably most common on the hand, especially about the fingers, although they may occur anywhere. The so-called herpetic whitlow is a special hazard for dentists, nurses, and physicians who work about the mouths of persons who harbor the virus.5,6 Primary Kaposi's varicelliform eruption is a generalized

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