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April 22, 1961

Primary Herpes Simplex Virus Infection of the Fingers

JAMA. 1961;176(3):226-228. doi:10.1001/jama.1961.63040160010013a

THE VIRUS of herpes simplex is among the commonest pathogens of man. It has been estimated that 90% of adults have neutralizing antibodies in their serum, indicating infection by this virus.1 There are 2 major types of clinical herpetic disease, regardless of the site infected, recognized: (1) a primary infection occurring in patients without circulating antibodies and (2) recurrent attacks in persons with neutralizing antibodies. Like many infectious agents, herpes can occur in a myriad of clinical syndromes. Until the report by Stern and associates2 it was not generally recognized that a primary herpetic infection can occur on the fingers of adults. It is likely that such infections are common, but are rarely recognized as being of viral etiology. Because of the paucity of reports in the American literature on primary herpes simplex infections of the fingers in adults, the following case is presented. A brief review

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