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Int Dent J. 2004 Apr;54(2):103-11.

Herpes simplex virus: an occupational hazard in dentistry.

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Dental School, University of Wales College of Medicine, Cardiff, UK.


Approximately 70% of the population in the western world become infected with the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) by the second decade of life. This review discusses the role of the HSV-1 as a potential occupational hazard for dental workers, focusing on herpes labialis, herpetic whitlow and keratitis. The risks associated with the dental treatment of patients with HSV-1, both from the perspective of the clinician and the patient are presented. Procedures for minimising the impact of HSV-1 within the dental practice, in particular infection control, delivery of treatment and patient education, are addressed. The management options for recurrent herpes labialis are also reviewed.

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